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November 2003

Georgetown Steel Shuts Down

Georgetown, SC— Georgetown Steel's 465 workers won't be returning to work anytime soon as the steel mill, located in Georgetown, South Carolina, will file for bankruptcy.

The company, one of Georgetown County's biggest employers and taxpayers, lost $15 million this year and couldn't scrape together the money to keep its operations going.

"Unless somebody were to step up tomorrow with $10 million to $15 million in cash, I think it is most likely that we will declare bankruptcy," Daniel K. Thorne, chairman of Midcoast Industries, said. "We will file for Chapter 11, but I am not optimistic" of reopening the plant.

Thorne said the company's bank was unwilling to lend it any more money. And trucking and rail companies stopped carrying tons of material into the plant during the past few days, fearing an expected bankruptcy would leave them with more unpaid bills.

"We made several attempts to contact Georgetown Steel officers to address the significant outstanding balance," CSX spokeswoman Misty Skipper said after the railroad company withheld a large shipment of scrap metal to the plant.

Once CSX and other suppliers announced they would no longer do business with the company, Thorne said he knew it was over.

"On Sunday night, we melted the last of the scrap in the yard and rolled it into wire rod. At that point, there was nothing more we could do," he said.

The closure comes a week after workers twice rejected pay cuts that Thorne says could have kept them at work.


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