The Burns Harbor
ArcelorMittal Plant could get $163 million in upgrades over the next three
to four years.
representatives from ArcelorMittal approached the Burns Harbor Town Council
last night to seek a tax abatement in relation to the series of
The upgrades are
intended to make the Burns Harbor plant more competitive with its rivals and
sustain its technological prowess.
According to the
representatives, about $44 million will go to non-discretionary projects
that will include two new charge cranes in the steel shop, a new coke
discharge machine, and a new BOF vessel. These replacements are more for
risk-management--updating equipment at or nearing end-of-life.
The remaining $119
million will be for “bread and butter projects” that involve incremental
updates to already well-performing assets, including increased coil capacity
at the hot mill, new coil binders, upgraded coil storage, and the
installation of an in-line temper mill, among others.
These upgrades will
help the plant take on projects outside of its regular scope, such as
solidifying a place in the growing electric car market. They will also help
the Burns Harbor plant keep pace with the Company’s U.S. strategic plan goal
to produce more hot roll direct sales.
ArcelorMittal director of state tax & government relations, said the
projects go far beyond regular maintenance, and provide for “growth and
long-term sustainability” going forward 20 to 40 years.
“This is quite a
significant investment in this plant and provides for the longevity of the
facility,” said Zlajic.
Council member Ray
Poparad noted that the Town awarded the company an abatement in 2017-- $134
million for its Walking Beam Furnace project to improve steel quality.
That project is
scheduled to finish in December 2021, after which the 10-year abatement will
be in place at a rate of 100 percent for the first three years, 75 percent
for years five and six, and 50 percent in years six through 10.
Per Indiana Code,
the Town is allowed to impose a fee of no more than 15 percent of the amount
of taxes abated or $100,000 for each year, whichever is less, for the
duration of a tax abatement it grants.
suggestion, the Council voted unanimously to table the discussion Monday in
light of Council Vice-president Eric Hull’s absence. The Council will
further discuss the matter at its April 10 meeting.
Member Kevin Tracy
agreed that all members should have time to take the Statement of Benefits
Zlajic provided under advisement and be present and accountable for the
understanding and said the team looks forward to the April meeting.