Steel of West Virginia shows West Virginians can succeed in a green economy | Business
HUNTINGTON – Huntington’s Steel of West Virginia says it can be successful in a green economy.
Further evidence came when it was announced by US Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm and US Senator Joe Manchin, DW.Va., that the company would produce flat bulbs to be used to build a ship that would carry supplies. along the Atlantic coast to build large wind turbines. . The project is to be a collaborative effort between Steel of West Virginia, Dominion Energy and Orsted Offshore North America, officials said.
“Steel of West Virginia is delighted to be part of the supply chain for the Dominion Energy, Eversource and Orsted Offshore Wind Development Project in North America,” said Charles Abbott, vice president and general manager of Steel of West Virginia .
Abbott said the company started rolling bulb flats in 2015.
“We realized that this vital part of shipbuilding was no longer produced in the United States,” he said.
The Jones Act or Merchant Marine Act of 1920, which helped Steel of West Virginia supply flat bulbs for the wind turbine ship, requires that ships used for cargo shipped between U.S. ports be built, owned and operated by US citizens with US content for security reasons, Abbott said.
“The Jones Act has allowed many US shipyards to remain viable,” he said. “Without it, the United States would have lost much of its capacity to produce ships to many of the same countries that now threaten the steel industry.”
While most people have never heard of Steel of West Virginia doing anything in the deep sea shipping industry, Abbott says this is not Steel of West’s first green power sale. Virginia.
“In fact, Steel of West Virginia was green long before green was cool,” Abbott said. “Not only is Steel of West Virginia’s process environmentally friendly, the company has for many years supplied green industries, such as solar farms and light rail transit, with its recycled steel. “
A lot of people don’t realize that Steel of West Virginia is actually a very large recycling plant, according to Abbott.
“We have been recycling steel in one form or another since 1907 and are now the largest recycler in the state of West Virginia,” he said. “Our hard-working men and women take scrap metal that would end up in landfills or backyards and recycle that steel in the electric arc furnace smelting process, which is cleaner and more energy efficient than fabricating it. traditional blast furnace steel. Blast furnace steelmaking creates new steel from basic building blocks in an operation that is not as clean or efficient as Steel of West Virginia’s recycling process.
Steel of West Virginia takes scrap metal and melts it to make new steel for use on railings, transportation equipment and other products.
“We use this recycled steel to make a variety of products for many green industries, including support beams for solar panels,” Abbott explained. “The ingenuity of our team created a new lightweight I-beam to serve this industry and replace expensive imported brackets over 10 years ago. Now our steel can be found in solar installations all over this great country. “
With the support of its parent company, Steel Dynamics Inc., Steel of West Virginia has invested more than $ 21 million to build a state-of-the-art, environmentally friendly galvanizing facility in Wurtland, Ky. Called Steel Ventures Inc.
Abbott says that since September 2018, Steel Ventures has captured more than 20% of the nation’s solar market by manufacturing and cladding support structures for solar panels.
“The new facility has not only created new jobs in Kentucky, but also preserved jobs in Huntington, as the coated steel in Wurtland is made in Huntington,” he said.
Steel of West Virginia also operates on light rail used in both mass transit rail systems and coal mines.
“And of course our flat bulbs provide strength and stability to ships like the vessel Dominion Energy is building to install wind turbines for the development of new offshore wind energy,” Abbott said. “Steel of West Virginia has several hundred employees who manufacture and manufacture products for an energy efficient future. Economists tell us that each of these jobs produces nine more support jobs in the regional economy.
Abbott says that with a little help from Congress, the company can continue to be successful in a green economy.
“If Congress is to make sure clean energy is really clean, it needs to make sure that American manufacturers and American steel are the key to the process. We are grateful for the leadership of Senator Manchin, Senator Capito and Congresswoman Miller in Washington to ensure that American jobs and American steel come first as we rebuild our nation’s energy infrastructure.
Abbott says there is healthy domestic competition in the United States for the energy and infrastructure markets.
“All US steelmakers must comply with US environmental and labor laws, which protect the health and safety of the workforce and the community, ensuring that the highest environmental standards are met,” said he declared. “We live and work in this community, and we take the health and safety of our employees and the health and safety of the region very seriously. The same cannot be said for steel made abroad. Few foreign competitors are held to the same high environmental standards as US manufacturers. Many steel mills around the world, from Europe to Asia, are subsidized by their governments, which have fostered overcapacity, and sell steel at below market prices to maintain employment for reasons of social stability.
Although steel overcapacity is not confined to China, China’s excess steel capacity is a huge problem for the global steel industry, according to Abbott.
“In 2010, China produced 655 million metric tons of hot-rolled steel. Throughout the decade, China continued to expand its production capacities at lightning speed, and in 2019, Chinese steel production – 953 million metric tons – accounted for 54% of global steel production – 1.756 million metric tonnes, ”he said. “The United States produced 87.2 million metric tonnes and used 108.5 million tonnes of hot-rolled steel in 2019. China’s production increase of 298 million tonnes overshadows US demand. “
Abbott says that in recent years some of these foreign competitors have been caught manipulating their material designations to avoid paying tariffs on steel imports.
“Senator Manchin, Senator Capito and Congresswoman Miller have been very supportive of our efforts to expose these manipulations and ensure a level playing field for American steel,” he said.
Abbott says Congress needs to make sure hard-working Americans aren’t left behind.
“Tax credits for green energy and infrastructure projects should go to companies that employ American workers with worker safety standards installing products made in the United States, including American steel.” , did he declare. “Clean energy is as clean as the components that make it up. We have the opportunity to marry economic development with environmental stewardship, and West Virginia can lead the way. “