Republic Steel partnership to restart idled blast furnace in Lorain

The partnership between Republic and ERP Iron Ore is considering restarting a second furnace at the mill to produce pig iron used in steel production.

LORAIN, Ohio (AP) - A partnership between Republic Steel and a Minnesota iron ore company says it plans to restart a northeast Ohio blast furnace that's been idle since 2016.

The Elyria Chronicle-Telegram reports Lorain Pig Iron LLC says the furnace capable of producing 1 million tons of pig iron annually could be operating at the Lorain mill by the end of 2018. The partnership between Republic and ERP Iron Ore is considering restarting a second furnace at the mill to produce pig iron used in steel production.

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The newspaper reports that 200 workers were laid off in 2016 when the mill was idled and that more than 1,000 Lorain steelworkers have been laid off.

A United Steelworkers Union official says the union hasn't received any details about how many workers would be needed.