Today marks a national celebration of the structural steel industry. In Pittsburgh, there will be a walk from the Marriott City Centre Hotel to look at new and important steel structures. Highlights will include the U.S. Steel Building, the new bus station, the convention center and the view from there of the stadiums and the three sisters bridges, a look at the August Wilson Center, Mellon Arena, and the Consol Energy Building under construction.
Preston Gibson, Vice President of the walk host, Steel Business Briefing, says steel is still important in peoples’ lives, even though Pittsburgh is down to one carbon mill and some stainless steel operations, with most of the manufacturing moved to Chicago or Gary, Indiana.
Almost half the steel companies in the U.S. are now foreign-owned, according to Gibson, with India owning the most and Russian companies also owners. A German company is opening a brand new integrated steel mill in Mobile, Alabama--the first in 20 or 25 years.
According to Gibson, the small number of steel companies remaining after consolidation enabled the industry to scale back production by 46% within weeks of the economic downturn last October and will enable a rapid rise when demand picks up.