US Steel uncertain about coke plant restart

Mr John P Surma chairman & CEO of US Steel has declined to disclose a date for resuming work on a USD 1 billion project at its coke plant in Clairton, Pennsylvania, US, telling industry officials that preserving cash during the recession remains a priority. Mr Surma said that the project, announced in November 2007, remains part of the steel producer’s long term plans. Labeled the largest construction project in the region since the building of Pittsburgh International Airport in the 1990s, the project was expected to create more than 600 construction jobs. Mr Surma said that he was worried about reports that China, which can produce more than 600 million metric tons annually, is producing more steel than its domestic customers require. The China Iron and Steel Association disclosed that September production topped a monthly record set in August. It may be noted that US Steel suspended work on the project in April, saying then that it could not say when industry conditions would improve enough to resume work.
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