ASI’s modernized plate mill ‘ready to roll’

The $120 million modernization of Algoma Steel Inc.’s plate mill means the company has taken a great product and made it better, says ASI’s Chief Executive Officer Michael Garcia.

“This modernization of our plate mill will allow us to produce more plate, and better quality plate,” says Garcia, “both of which our customers are asking for. So we’re really excited about growing our position as a premier plate supplier in North America.”

ASI held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the opening of the mill, Tuesday afternoon. 

Garcia is excited the project, more than four years in the making, is ready to roll.

A company release says the Plate Mill Modernization Project promises to boost annual shipped plate capacity from 450,000 tons to 650,000 tons. 

Other notable project benefits include:

> Increased thickness and high strength capability to expand into oil and gas forestry, agriculture, wind energy, and mining sectors

> Enhanced flatness and surface quality.

> Improved reliability of plate production with direct shipment capability.

> Increased overall capacity.

> Improved ship-on-time capabilities.

The plate mill project got a kick start of $90 million in federal funding from the Trudeau government in 2019.

“By investing in this modernization, we were not just investing in Algoma Steel,” said Sault MP Terry Sheehan. “By ensuring its long-term viability, we were investing in the workers, in good middle-class union jobs, and the continued success of our region’s economy that depends on the steel plant’s long term viability.

We will continue to stand up for steel – whether it is through modernization projects like the electric arc furnace, or through fighting against foreign dumping.”

The project incorporates state-of-the-art technologies such as advanced automation systems, surface descaling, hot levelling, and a new cooling bed. 

Additionally, upgrades to the finishing area include a new dividing shear, piling system, ‘top-and-bottom’ automated inspection system, and plate marking machine.

Algoma Steel plate has been a part of several major infrastructure  and industrial projects across the country including the construction of HMCS Halifax and Toronto, the Henvey Inlet wind tower project, and various major bridge and infrastructure projects such as the Champlain Bridge, Bluewater Bridge, and Pearson International Airport.

Sault Mayor Matthew Shoemaker told the gathering, “I am proud that Sault Ste. Marie is home to Canada’s only discreet plate and heat treatment facility. It is evident that Algoma Steel is on a transformational journey.”

The Mayor praised Algoma’s commitment to green technology and lowering carbon emissions.

Garcia says the plate mill’s upgrade, along with its electric arc furnace, solidify ASI’s future.

“It’s an exciting step forward in and of itself, but when you couple it with the electric arc furnace which will be coming online next year, it’s really a substantial step forward. Big things are happening here at Algoma Steel.”


  • Ron Jokelainen

    Ron has returned to writing and reporting after 27 years with Ontario Lottery & Gaming. He began as a staff writer with OLG in 1994 before moving to Sports Marketing in 1997. He retired as a Senior sports analyst in 2021. Prior to OLG, Ron worked in radio and print journalism in the Sault and Simcoe. Folks may remember Ron "Williams" with CFYN-CHAS in the early 90s A graduate of Windsor's St. Clair College Journalism program, Ron lists drumming, gardening and walking among his favourite hobbies.

    View all posts

One thought on “ASI’s modernized plate mill ‘ready to roll’

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *