Andy BILLINGHAMKamila DEMKOVA
Mikulas Dzurinda visits U. S. Steel Kosice
Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic Mikulas Dzurinda took advantage of his stay in Kosice last Friday to pay another visit to U. S. Steel Kosice. Shortly
after 2pm he was welcomed at the steelworks by U. S. Steel Corporation President and CEO John P. Surma and U. S. Steel Kosice President David H. Lohr.
Following a brief private conversation the Prime Minister joined in a guided tour of several Company production operations. He was interested in the ongoing
construction of galvanizing line no.3, and also looked at the hot wide-strip line in the Hot Strip Mill. The last time the Prime Minister visited the Kosice steelworks was on June 23rd last year,
on the day of the ceremonial ground-breaking and laying of the foundation stone for the future galvanizing line hall. Company representatives informed him about the progress of work during the
intervening eight months. At the construction site itself, Mikulas Dzurinda met workers of the contractor firms and thanked them for their rapid, high-quality work. He also spoke highly of the
activities of the American company U. S. Steel in Kosice, especially in the area of capital investment, meaning more work for people in this region which suffers from high unemployment.
Steel Arena opened on Friday
"The Arena is opening," declared the announcer in the new stadium a few seconds after 5.15pm on Friday, February 24th 2006, when the galleries of the Steel Arena
were full of spectators. The whole stadium was bubbling with good mood and tremendous anticipation among all the participants in this extraordinary event. Following the opening ceremony the stage
was taken by SR Prime Minister Mikulas Dzurinda, accompanied by Kosicka Arena Civic Association President Lubomir Veme.
The Prime Minister first thanked John H. Goodish, who revived the construction of the new stadium, then Christopher J. Navetta, who proceeded with the project, and
finally the current President of the Kosice steelworks David H. Lohr, who has overseen the completion work. He especially commended the activity of USS Corporation President and CEO John P.
Surma, who has taken a keen interest in the project and intensively supported it throughout, and the attitude of the USS Corporation as a whole. Then it was the turn of Mikulas Dzurinda himself
as Prime Minister and the whole Government of the Slovak Republic to be thanked, because without their approval of financial assistance it would not have been possible to complete this project. A
substantial part in the overall success was also played by the ex-Mayor of the City Zdenko Trebula and the members of the City Council, city ward Kosice-Saca, and of course the companies
participating in the construction - U. S. Steel Kosice as general partner, main contractors Rail Cargo Slovakia, Harsco, Slovenergo, Energoservis a. s. Kosice, Elektroservis Vn a Vnn
a.s., Termostav Mraz, and many, many sub-contractors.
Lubomir Veme expressed particular thanks to USSK Vice-president for Strategic Implementation and Kosicka Arena Civic Association Vice-President Anton Jura, who led
the construction management team for the new stadium.
Pilot Lines to serve the whole Corporation
In the last few weeks, testing lines have been installed in the hall in back of the U. S. Steel Kosice Research and Development building, which will enable
research staff to simulate actual production conditions in the Hot and Cold Strip Mill operations. Research teams and plant operators will together be able to run trial operations to optimize the
required features of products before they are put into real production. The HSM and CSM testing lines project, better known by the name of Pilot Lines, is part of the plan by Corporation
management in Pittsburgh to build up research capacity in Kosice to serve the requirements of the whole Corporation.