US Steel announced it has canceled its investment project in the Mon Valley Works, according to local news reports. The company promised in 2019 to invest around $1.5 billion for state-of-the-art technology, including new sustainable endless casting and rolling. The project was expected to be completed in 2022.
However, US Steel said the “stressors” from the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change influenced their decision, also noting that permit delays from the Allegheny County Health Department slowed down progress with construction significantly.
“We commissioned the manufacturing of the equipment and began site preparations,” President and CEO David Burritt said in a statement. “However, with over $170 million invested and equipment being stored in Pittsburgh-area warehouses, we’re still only at the beginning stages of project execution. By contrast, during this same time period, a competing steel manufacturer in another state announced a new steel mill and will be ready to make steel this year.”
Additionally, Burritt said that at the onset of the pandemic, the company agreed with the need for the County Health Department to temporarily delay its permitting process for the Mon Valley Works, “but this delay allowed for a consequential window of time during which we expanded our understanding of steelmaking’s future in a rapidly decarbonizing world.”
In early April, the company announced it was committed to producing zero carbon emissions by 2050. While the company has stated that steelmaking will continue at Mon Valley Works, Burritt said in November 2020 that the investment intended for the facility “could go somewhere else.”