The Mingo Junction mill in Southeast Ohio was built in 1872 and served as an anchor for the surrounding community. In the following years, the mill continued to evolve as a steel plant with various regional owners and with upgrades such as a 2.5 million-ton electric arc furnace (EAF). The plant was well-equipped for large production, but after 2009, subsequent owners utilized only a small portion of the mill.
In 2014, the mill’s revitalization began when Asian Colour Coated Ispat Ltd. purchased the mill with the intent to return it to full capacity. The initiative to restore the plant involved a handful of collaborations which led to the creation of Acero Junction, Inc. (Acero).
An Opportunity for Growth
Acero began producing hot band coils and set its sights on restarting the EAF. Acero hired a team of 120 workers and committed to immediate and additional upgrades. Meanwhile, the plant’s unique EAF and an upswing in U.S. market conditions caught the eye of India-based JSW Group, which saw the opportunity to grow in the U.S. Its American subsidiary, JSW Steel (JSW), acquired Acero to expand its product range and thus supply greater quantities of American melted and manufactured hot rolled coils.
However, as the new owner of the mill, JSW faced significant development costs from facility neglect as well as workforce attraction and training concerns.
The Ohio Solution
In the spring of 2018, JSW officials met with JobsOhio, the Appalachian Partnership for Economic Growth (APEG) and the Jefferson County Port Authority, which stayed in lockstep during discussions and the negotiations to identify how to efficiently and effectively help the company.
JobsOhio offered JSW a revitalization grant to offset the high cost of redeveloping the plant. To fill additional positions, JobsOhio also provided funding support toward its talent acquisition efforts. JSW’s new plant could employ as many as 400 people by the end of 2021 in a county with a high unemployment rate.
In December 2018, JSW fired up the Mingo Junction EAF for the first time in over nine years, reigniting both production at the facility and hope for the community.