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Kobe Steel-United States Steel JV to Build Continuous Annealing Line

United States Steel Corporation (NYSE: X) and Kobe Steel, Ltd. announced today that they have reached an agreement for their joint venture, PRO-TEC Coating Company in Leipsic, Ohio, to begin construction on a continuous annealing line at the facility.

The project is expected to increase the joint venture's ability to serve its automotive customers. The capital investment for this project is approximately $400 million and is expected to create 500 temporary construction jobs as well as 80 full-time jobs once operating. PRO-TEC has obtained financing commitments for the project subject to final documentation and other closing conditions. Completion of the project would take an estimated 24 months.

U. S. Steel and Kobe Steel, through their joint venture in PRO-TEC, have been supplying the automotive industry with hot-dipped galvanized high-strength steel since 1993. With the addition of the continuous annealing line, PRO-TEC will now produce cold-rolled advanced high-strength steels and ultra high-strength steels for certain automotive structural parts. This material further assists automotive manufacturers to enhance the strength and safety of their vehicles while reducing the vehicle's weight, improving its fuel efficiency and emission requirements. The new continuous annealing line will have an annual production capacity of 500,000 tons. The line will process steel purchased from U. S. Steel and will be equipped to utilize both advanced water quench technology and a rapid gas jet cooling system to meet customer requirements

"With this investment PRO-TEC Coating Company, both U. S. Steel and Kobe Steel are well-positioned to serve our automotive customers. PRO-TEC is an industry leader in quality sheet steel products and we are pleased to bring another quality product to market," said John P. Surma, chairman and chief executive officer of United States Steel Corporation. "We thank all of Ohio's regulatory authorities, economic development agencies and elected officials for assisting the partners in our expansion of PRO-TEC Coating Company."


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