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Steel A Chance
March 7, 2011 - Robert "Bubba" Kapral
Renco Group is poised to become the next player on the Ohio Valley steel industry stage. The New York-based entity intends to acquire Severstal in a billion-dollar purchase. The Ohio Valley's steel plants, along with operations in Warren, Ohio and Maryland are all included in the deal. Renco's announcement spawned both optimism and anxiety throughout the valley. Laid-off steelworkers -- numbering in the thousands -- have again been tossed a dose of hope. I see the eventual Renco-acquisition as a step in the right direction. New money and new leadership may provide the spark needed to get a stagnant industry thriving again. Severstal was mired in neutral, as only an occasional bump in employment would be seen in local plants. I like to believe that Renco is making the purchase because it feels confident it can breath new life in idled plants and others that are just producing at a portion of their potential. Only time will tell whether Renco is an answer to a problem that has plagued the area for decades. If Renco fails to revive the steeling industry in the valley, how many more options remain?
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