US Steel hopes new furnace will make Fairfield plant more effici - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

US Steel hopes new furnace will make Fairfield plant more efficient

Source: WBRC video Source: WBRC video

US Steel says it wants to make changes to its Fairfield plant an install a new, more efficient electric arc furnace.

FOX6 News spoke to the company Friday to find out if the new technology would impact jobs.

A US Steel spokesperson says the company has applied for the necessary permits and if those documents are secured, they might have further comment at that time.

The company's CEO, Mario Longhi, announced the plans in a conference call this week. The company hopes to have the permits approved within the next year and begin building the electric arc furnace, or EAF, in 2015.

The EAF uses scrap metal rather than iron ore to create steel and is generally less expensive to operate.

Longhi says the new maching would make the company more "flexible" and "efficient." He did not directly address if this would mean a reduction in man hours. He was asked about any possible staff reductions on the call.

"It's too far out but you've got to remember we have a natural attrition, that is natural to the company. So I wouldn't dwell on that being any issue going into the future or our people should be concerned with natural stuff that could eventually happen. There wouldn't be any need for a drastic move there," he said in response.

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