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Republic Steel to restart furnace by September


LORAIN — Republic Steel could be up and running by September.

According to a Wednesday news release from the company, the 9-inch and 10-inch rolling mill at its Lorain facility should be restarted by the end of summer, followed by the electric arc furnace as orders dictate.

In this first phase, Republic anticipates bringing back more than 80 employees to the mill, which was idled indefinitely in March 2016, over a course of two months.

“We have capacity available to supply the market now,” President and CEO Jaime Vigil said in the release. “We’ve been preparing our facilities to accommodate an increase in demand and are ready to take on new customers who want to buy from a U.S. manufacturer.”

Republic credits the 232 steel tariffs for creating additional demand for steel and has resulted in more than $12 million in investments to its plants to supply the increased demand, including 25 new employees in Canton and 50 at its Lackawanna, N.Y., facility.

Lorain Mayor Chase Ritenauer said the city is “obviously very excited” about the news.

“The Lorain steel industry has been through a difficult time, especially the last few years, and it looks like the industry is starting to rebound a bit,” he said. “With Republic’s announcement hopefully this is the start of more jobs, but 80 new jobs is certainly a positive. We hope they continue to move forward.”

Ritenauer said the city, as well as officials from Lorain Port Authority and Lorain County, had been in contact with Republic about their plans and he’s “happy they’re coming back to Lorain.”

Contact Katie Nix at 329-7129 or Find her on Facebook and Twitter @KatieHNix.

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