Algoma Steel Group Inc. provided an update further to the incident on Saturday, January 20 at its coke-making plant when a structure supporting utilities piping collapsed.
Algoma advised that the water-related environmental release was fully contained by the evening of January 20, with most of the effluent being contained on-site. As a result, Algoma currently believes that there is a low risk of impact to the adjacent waterway. The Company remains in contact with regulatory authorities, union leadership, and local stakeholders including Indigenous communities.
A repair plan for the coke-making plant is being developed with third party engineering support in accordance with Algoma’s Environmental Compliance Approval. While the Company is actively assessing coke-making capacity, limited production has resumed at the three coke-production units.
At the time of the coke-making incident, for safety reasons Blast Furnace operations were temporarily suspended while the site was secured. Upon the normal course resumption of iron production, Algoma experienced issues at the Blast Furnace related to other utilities supplying the facility as an unexpected consequence of the coke-making incident. As a result, the Blast Furnace was taken offline and work is underway to restart the furnace. The Company is evaluating the potential operational impact of the Blast Furnace being offline and currently expects to resume production within two weeks. We expect some impact on shipments, the extent of which will depend on the timeline to resume Blast Furnace operations.
Algoma’s combined plate/strip mill and cold mill operations remain unaffected by the incident, as does the EAF construction. Algoma currently believes that it can source adequate coke from third-party suppliers to augment coke production and coke inventory on site.
Algoma has given notice to relevant insurance providers and continues to complete assessments and advance repairs to expedite a return to normal operations while prioritizing the ongoing safety of its employees, the community and the environment.