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Steel Giant to Buy Koppers Coke Plant

Aug. 6, 2008
ArcelorMittal growth strategy aims at increasing raw materials self-sufficiency

The world’s largest steelmaker, ArcelorMittal, reports it has an agreement to acquire Koppers Inc.’s Monessen (PA) coke plant for $160 million. Once completed, the purchase will add about 366,000 tons of cokemaking capacity to ArcelorMittal’s domestic capability.

ArcelorMittal has operations on six continents and produced nearly 130 million tons of raw steel last year.

"This acquisition is an important step toward increasing our upstream self-sufficiency in metallurgical coke production during a time when metallurgical coke demand on a global scale remains strong,” stated Sudhir Maheshwari, a director of the steelmaker who is responsible for mergers/acquisitions and project and business development.

ArcelorMittal reports it had been Koppers' sole customer for coke produced at Monessen. The plant was completed in 1942 by the former Pittsburgh Steel Co., and consists of two, 56-oven batteries. It produced 358,000 tons of coke last year.

The deal follows two significant purchases by the steelmaker in recent weeks. In June it bought Mid Vol Coal, a West Virginia mining operation that produced 1.5 million tons of metallurgical-grade coal in 2007, and that has recoverable reserves estimated at 85 million tons.

In July ArcelorMittal bought The Concept Group, another West Virginia operation, which produced 800,000 tons in 2007 and has recoverable reserves estimated at 57 million tons. No price has been released for either of those purchases.

Maheshwari has said increasing self-sufficiency for primary steelmaking raw materials “is a critical component of ArcelorMittal’s growth strategy.”