HAMILTON, ON, Sept. 14, 2020 /CNW/ – Stelco Holdings Inc. (“Stelco Holdings”) (TSX: STLC), a low cost, integrated and independent steelmaker with one of the newest and most technologically advanced integrated steelmaking facilities in North America and the 100% owner of the operating company Stelco Inc. (“Stelco”, “Stelco Inc.”, or “the Company”), today provided further details on its Lake Erie Works blast furnace upgrade and reline project.
Stelco continues to proceed with its comprehensive blast furnace upgrade and reline project at its Lake Erie Works facility in Nanticoke, Ontario, creating what we believe will be the first smart blast furnace of its kind in North America. The upgrade project is currently on-budget and on-schedule, with hot metal production expected early in October 2020. The blast furnace upgrade and reline project is the first one in the history of Lake Erie Works and will enable Stelco to efficiently operate its technologically advanced blast furnace for the next three to four decades. It is expected that these upgrades will result in improved quality, increased hot metal production of up to 300,000 net tons per annum, and a corresponding $30 per net ton reduction in costs to produce our steel coils.
“We are pleased with the extremely hard work of our employees and contractors on this once in a generation project that we have undertaken in the middle of the global pandemic to create a best-in-class blast furnace at our Lake Erie Works facility,” commented Alan Kestenbaum, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Stelco Holdings.
This release contains ”forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable securities laws. Forward-looking information may relate to our future outlook and anticipated events or results and may include information regarding our financial position, business strategy, growth strategy, acquisition opportunities, budgets, operations, financial results, taxes, dividend policy, plans and objectives of our Company. Particularly, information regarding our expectations of future results, performance, achievements, prospects or opportunities is forward-looking information. In some cases, forward-looking information can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as ”plans”, ”targets”, ”expects” or ”does not expect”, ”is expected”, ”an opportunity exists”, ”budget”, ”scheduled”, ”estimates”, ”outlook”, ”forecasts”, ”projection”, ”prospects”, ”strategy”, ”intends”, ”anticipates”, ”does not anticipate”, ”believes”, or variations of such words and phrases or state that certain actions, events or results ”may”, ”could”, ”would”, ”might”, ”will”, ”will be taken”, ”occur” or ”be achieved”. In addition, any statements that refer to expectations, intentions, projections or other characterizations of future events or circumstances may be forward looking statements. Forward-looking statements are not historical facts but instead represent management’s expectations, estimates and projections regarding future events or circumstances. The forward-looking statements contained herein are presented for the purpose of assisting the holders of our securities and financial analysts in understanding our financial position and results of operations as at and for the periods ended on the dates presented, as well as our financial performance objectives, vision and strategic goals, and may not be appropriate for other purposes.
Forward-looking information in this news release includes our expectations that: we will improve our cost position following the completion of the blast furnace reline and upgrade project; expectations that the blast furnace upgrade and reline project will be completed by early October 2020; that the Company will be well positioned to participate in any economic recovery following completion of the blast furnace project; that the blast furnace upgrade and reline project remains on schedule and on budget; expectations that upon completion of the blast furnace reline and upgrade project the Company will benefit from upgrades intended to lower our cost structure and increase our steelmaking capacity and enhance our product quality; and expectations that the Company’s strategic initiatives will position the Company for long-term success. Undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking information. The forward-looking information in this press release is based on our opinions, estimates and assumptions in light of our experience and perception of historical trends, current conditions and expected future developments, as well as other factors that we currently believe are appropriate and reasonable in the circumstances. Despite a careful process to prepare and review the forward-looking information, there can be no assurance that the underlying opinions, estimates and assumptions will prove to be correct. Certain assumptions in respect of our ability to complete our capital projects on schedule and within budget and their anticipated effect on revenue and costs; our ability to source raw materials and other inputs; our ability to supply to new customers and markets; our ability to effectively manage costs; our ability to attract and retain key personnel and skilled labour; our ability to obtain and maintain existing financing on acceptable terms; currency exchange and interest rates; the impact of competition; changes in laws, rule, and regulations, including international trade regulations; our ability to continue to access the U.S. market without any adverse trade restrictions; the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Company and on the North American and global economies generally; upgrades to existing facilities remaining on schedule and on budget and their anticipated effect on revenue and costs; and growth in steel markets and industry trends, as well as those set out in this press release, are material factors made in preparing the forward-looking information and management’s expectations contained in this press release.
Statements with respect to the expected increased production volumes and anticipated cost reductions regarding the planned upgrade and reline of our blast furnace at Lake Erie Works referenced in this press release are based on a number of assumptions, including, but not limited to, the following material assumptions: third party contractors and suppliers delivering, constructing and performing in accordance with agreed upon budgets, schedules and applicable performance guarantees; our ability to obtain any applicable regulatory approvals and permits required in connection with the project; expectations that, upon completion, our facilities will produce in accordance with anticipated design capacity; expectations that the market for steel does not experience a material adverse change in the short to medium term; expectations that our customers will continue to purchase material volumes of production upon completion of the project; the blast furnace project proceeding on schedule and, upon completion, performing in such a manner so as to provide molten metal to meet our production needs; and expectations that we will fully realize production levels at our Lake Erie Works facility that are equal to or better than production levels existing at our Lake Erie Works facility prior to the commencement of the blast furnace upgrade and reline project. In addition, the effect that the COVID-19 pandemic may have on the Company’s ability to complete the proposed blast furnace project is highly unpredictable and is subject to many variables, including, but not limited to, the possibility that the applicable contractors may be impeded and/or restricted from completing the work on schedule and within budget.
Such forward-looking information is subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other factors that may cause the actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking information, including: North American and global steel overcapacity; imports and trade remedies; competition from other producers, imports or alternative materials; and the availability and cost of inputs placing downward pressure on steel prices or increasing our costs; as well as those described in the Company’s annual information form dated February 18, 2020 and the Company’s MD&A for the period ended June 30, 2020 available under the Company’s profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
There can be no assurance that such information will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such information. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward looking information, which speaks only as of the date made. The forward-looking information contained in this press release represents our expectations as of the date of this news release and are subject to change after such date. Stelco Holdings disclaims any intention or obligation or undertaking to update publicly or revise any forward-looking statements, whether written or oral, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.
For further information: For investor enquiries: Paul Scherzer, Chief Financial Officer, (905) 577-4432, [email protected]; For media enquiries: Trevor Harris, Vice-President, Corporate Affairs, (905) 577-4447, [email protected]
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World news – CA – Stelco Provides Further Details on Blast Furnace Upgrade Project