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November 2004

Wheeling-Pittsburgh's Ladle Metallurgy Furnace Makes First Heat

Wheeling, WV— Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corporation announced that its ladle metallurgy furnace (LMF), a furnace that is part of its Consteel® Electric Arc Furnace system, completed its first heat at approximately 7 p.m., Friday, October 1, just 14 months after the project was authorized.

“This is a major milestone for Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel’s electric arc furnace construction,” said James G. Bradley, Wheeling-Pittsburgh Chairman, president and CEO. “I am extremely excited for the future of our company and its employees as we approach the start of a new era in steelmaking for Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel and the Upper Ohio Valley.”

The ladle metallurgy furnace reheats molten steel to the precise temperature necessary for it to be processed into slabs at the company’s twin stream caster. In addition, it is used to reduce the sulfur content of the molten steel and add alloys to achieve the exact chemical composition for each customer’s needs. The LMF used molten steel produced at the company’s basic oxygen furnace (BOF) in its first heat, since the EAF is not scheduled to begin production until later in the fourth quarter.

Startup of the LMF required major components of the EAF project be operational, including its 138,000 volt substation; water treatment facility; baghouse, which cleans 1.2 million cubic feet of air per minute; as well as ladle cars for transporting hot metal to and from the LMF. Each of these systems will be used by both the LMF and EAF. The total value of the systems successfully commissioned is approximately $60 million, representing about 50% of the total EAF project cost.

The Consteel® EAF is a state-of-the art continuous steelmaking furnace. Among its advanced features are: a preheating process that preheats the scrap steel used to charge the furnace to 1,000 degrees and the ability to use either 100 percent scrap or a mix of scrap and liquid iron.

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