EVTAC Forced to Reduce Production, Lay off Employees02/13:
Minnesota's EVTAC Mining Co. will reduce its production of taconite pellets
and layoff at least 100 employees by late May because of foreign steel imports, falling pellet
prices and the recent explosion at a power plant at Rouge Steel in Detroit.
EVTAC President Dave DeLeo told company suppliers that "the crisis is real" and that all jobs at
EVTAC are potentially at risk unless the company can find ways to cut costs over the next year.
The company had planned to produce 5 million tons of pellets this year. Now,
however, it will idle one of its two pellet furnaces in May, cutting production to between 4.1
million and 4.4 million tons. If EVTAC's financial situation does not improve, the furnace may be idled permanently, the company said.
With its Furnace No. 1 idle, EVTAC will focus on improving efficiency on its Line 2 furnace. After a year, the company hopes to increase Line 2's production from 4.1 million tons to as much as 4.7 million tons.
The company is asking its vendors and suppliers for suggestions on how to cut costs. It also is examining ways to cut costs in labor, transportation, taxes, utilities and capital improvements.
EVTAC officials blame the crisis on the glut of foreign steel imports, high production costs at the plant and falling pellet prices. The explosion at the River Rouge generating station forced
Rouge Steel to idle two blast furnaces that consume 450,000 tons of EVTAC pellets each year.
EVTAC is located in Eveleth, Minn., and formerly was known as Eveleth Mines. It is owned by Rouge Steel, A-K Steel and Stelco. It ships pellets through the DMIR ore docks in
Reported by: Al Miller and David French