US Steel is planning to close its coke plant in Granite City, a spokesperson for the company said this afternoon.
Courtney Boone, manager of media relations for US Steel, said the company has submitted a proposal to the company to close that portion of the business in late March. She confirmed that 176 would lose their jobs in the plant closure.
“We will still be steel making and finishing, but we just won’t be making coke,” she said. “There are 2,334 employed at Granite City for US Steel and 176 will be offered severance as governed by their collective bargaining agreement as well as other accumulated benefits of their employment.”
US Steel notified both the United Steel Workers Union in both Granite City and notified the international union.
Boone described coke as a raw material in steel making and as a coal that has been baked at incredibly high temperatures to drive off volatility to create pure carbon. The product is used in the blast furnace and in the steel-making process, she said.
“Based on the company’s long-term coke strategy and the market conditions and our changing footprint in regard to steelmaking, we have made the analysis the facility can be closed,” she said.