Georgetown Steel Corporation took over the former site of the Atlantic Coast Lumber Company in 1969. Recently purchased by ArcelorMittal of Luxembourg, it is considered one of the most efficient mini-mills in the world.
The plant operates two electric arc furnaces and is capable of producing a million tons of liquid steel and 750,000 tons of wire rod annually. It is the only domestic producer of steel used in radial tires. It also produces automotive springs, staples, chains, and rope for commercial and industrial uses.
The steel mill has been hit hard by the decreased demand from American automakers. In December 2008, ArcelorMittal announced several layoffs in Georgetown. Worse still, it announced plant closings in both Lackawana, PA and Hennepin, IL.
The people of Georgetown were rattled when, that same month, they learned their own plant would shut down for the month of January. The plant successfully reopened, but a portion of the staff was put on temporary leave. Needless to say, the town is monitoring the mill’s status closely.
1. Update: The month after we published this article, ArcelorMittal announced the steel mill would be shut down until the market improves. This will put 242 people out of work with no guarantee the mill will reopen.
(Post and Courier – Georgetown Steel Mill To Shut Down, published May 2009.)
2. Update: Over a year after the mill was shut-down, officials with ArcelorMittal have announced they are working on a timeline to reopen the mill.
(Post and Courier – Georgetown Steel Mill To Reopen, published October 2010.)
3. Update: Workers have returned to ArcelorMittal, as test runs continue in preparation of the plant’s reopening.
(Read a full update on Steel Workers Back at the Mill and Feeling Good, published January 2011.)
4. Update: ArcelorMittal announces the Georgetown facility will be closed permanently by September 2015.
(Read a full update on ArcelorMittal Announces Closure of Georgetown Wire Rod Facility; 226 Jobs to be Impacted, published May 2015.)