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Highlights of 39/2007
           

Created: 10/1/2007
Author: Recorded by: Andy BILLINGHAM, Kamila DEMKOVA
Category: 39/2007



Today is our big day (pdf, 1.26 MB)
Special edition dedicated to Grand opening of the new galvanizing line

USSK opens new galvanizing line no.3

On Tuesday, September 25th 2007, the U. S. Steel family experienced a very significant day, when the new hot-dip galvanizing line was officially opened in Kosice. Only 27 months had passed since the ground-breaking ceremony. This new dominant feature of USSK, the blue hall neighboring the recently-built conti-annealing line, symbolizes the road that U. S. Steel has taken at its Slovakian operation since the year 2000.
The official opening on Tuesday, September 25th was attended by several representatives of the Slovak Government led by Prime Minister Robert Fico, Minister of Finance of the Slovak Republic Jan Pociatek, Minister of Economy of the Slovak Republic Lubomir Jahnatek, the top management of the U. S. Steel Corporation led by Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer John P. Surma, USSK President David H. Lohr, Kosice City Mayor Frantisek Knapik, Kosice elf-governing Region Chairman Zdenko Trebula, representatives of the companies involved in the line's construction, customers from Slovak and foreign companies, and other invited guests. We quote from the opening speech made by John P. Surma: "This state-of-the-art facility represents the culmination of years of research, planning, construction and testing by many people, both here in Slovakia and at our facilities in the United States. On behalf of U. S. Steel's Board of Directors and leadership team, I'd like to thank everyone who has played a role in this important project. Your efforts have helped USSK reach another milestone on the road toward becoming a world-class producer of high-value-added steel products. At the groundbreaking ceremony we held for this facility in June 2005, I said that this new galvanizing line is dedicated to our customers. We are pleased that so many of our customers were able to join us once again, this time for the formal dedication. Today, I am reconfirming the commitment I made to you two years ago. We look forward to supplying you with the high-quality coated sheet products you need today and are committed to working with you to create and produce the steels that you will need in the future.
I'd also like to recognize Mr. Mikulas Dula, chairman of the largest trade union organization, which represents nearly 9000 USSK employees. Mr. Dula has long supported the idea of building a galvanizing facility here, and he would inquire about it each time I visited here. The last time we met, I told him that the day would soon be here. And I am proud to say that today IS that day. Thank you for your diligence and your support, Mr. Dula. The history of this new galvanizing line really began in the late 1990s when John Goodish, our Chief Operating Officer and USSK's first President, came to Slovakia. He spent a great deal of time here studying the people and facilities that belonged to VSZ as well as the business environment in Slovakia. That research convinced him and the rest of our leadership team that Slovakia had great potential and that this company could be a great addition to the U. S. Steel family. In November 2000, U. S. Steel Kosice officially became part of our company, and since then, this operation and our employees have been key contributors to U. S. Steel's overall success.
Much has been accomplished at USSK over the past few years. We expanded our tin coating capabilities; installed a vacuum degasser that allows us to make ultra-low-carbon steels; added a new facility to produce electrical steels; and we have completed more than $275 million in environmental improvements throughout the operation. Now we are dedicating this new galvanizing line, which will create about 150 jobs and allow us to supply our customers with the high-quality steels they need to produce products that make people's lives safer and better. When U. S. Steel acquired USSK, we made many commitments to the people and the government. We pride ourselves on keeping our promises, and I am proud to say that we have not only honored the commitments we made seven years ago, we have exceeded them. We are proud to call this community home, and we will continue to be an active participant in it."
The audience was also addressed by Prime Minister Robert Fico, President USSK David H. Lohr and other guest speakers. Part of the official opening was also a plant tour around the new galvanizing line no.3. On Friday of last week the line was blessed by the Archbishop of Kosice, Mons. Alojz Tkac.

Good mood reigns on Main Street

On Sunday, September 23rd, the Kosice steelmakers let it be known to the public on the Main Street that they were bringing into operation the most important item of capital investment in the history of the USSK works - galvanizing line no.3. With good entertainment, great music and songs, a fashion show and attractive competitions. Joining in the fun were younger and older people alike, and the audience included boys and girls wearing ice-hockey, basketball or soccer kit, who are involved in the U. S. Steel Kosice project "Your chance to play".

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