U.S. Steel to Invest $46 Million at Fairfield Pipe Mill

Feb 06, 1998, 00:00 ET from U.S. Steel

    FAIRFIELD, Ala., Feb. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- The U. S. Steel Group of USX
 Corporation (NYSE:   X) announced a $46 million modernization project which will
 enhance product quality and improve productivity and efficiency in the Tubular
 Products Division at the company's Fairfield Works.  The up-grade -- scheduled
 for completion in second quarter 1999 -- includes improvements at the seamless
 pipe mill and the continuous bloom caster.
     The largest portion of the investment project will involve modification of
 the seamless pipe mill to convert round billets rather than square blooms into
 the various tubular products manufactured at Fairfield Works.  The conversion
 will include elimination of the press piercing mill and the elongator mill --
 both of which process square blooms at the seamless pipe facility -- and
 installation of a new rotary piercing mill with disks for the round billets.
 The investment project also will involve conversion of the Fairfield bloom
 caster to enable production of round billets to source the pipe mill.
     "U. S. Steel has targeted the tubular products market as a key element in
 our long-term competitive strategy, and this investment at Fairfield is
 further evidence of our commitment to remain an industry leader, and to
 provide world-class tubular products to customers in the oil and gas
 industries in a cost-effective manner," said Paul J. Wilhelm, president of
 the U. S. Steel Group.
     Joseph R. Scherrbaum, general manager of tubular products for U. S. Steel,
 said the investments at the pipe mill and bloom caster will help meet the
 increasingly stringent requirements of energy industry customers.  "The oil
 and gas producing industries continue to explore and drill deeper and in ever
 harsher environments," Scherrbaum said.  "That activity requires stronger
 tubular products with superior internal and surface quality and more uniform
 dimensional tolerances.
     "Over the years, U. S. Steel has responded to changing customer needs in
 the tubular marketplace, and this latest modernization project at Fairfield
 will help position us to continue to meet or exceed customer requirements into
 the next century," Scherrbaum said.  "The elimination of the press piercing
 mill and replacement of the elongator with a new rotary piercing mill also
 will greatly streamline operations and reduce costs at the pipe mill."
     The conversion project will require an outage of approximately 30 days at
 the hot end of the seamless pipe facility in second quarter 1999.  Scherrbaum
 said the company is already beginning plans to build sufficient inventory for
 the pipe mill finishing end, assuring that there will be no disruption in
 shipments to customers at any time during the modernization.
     The Fairfield pipe mill produces seamless oil country tubular goods and
 standard/line pipe in sizes from 4-1/2 inches to 9-7/8ths inches OD.
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