Play catch up? No. ASI looks to lead

For those following developments at Algoma Steel recently, or who attended the steelmaker’s open house at the Northern Community Centre Thursday, ASI isn’t in the backseat of fast-evolving industry, it wants the steering wheel.

Earlier in the week the company held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the readiness of its modernized Plate Mill. That $120 million project has ASI officials and employees excited, but the oncoming Electric Arc Furnace (EAF) is in a league of its own in scope and impact.

Mark Nogalo, Vice-President of Strategic Transformation, says the EAF project is in full swing. An on-site 110 MegaWatt power plant, Lake Superior Power, is in service as part of preparations for the EAF and is supplying power on hot summer days when power demand in the province is high.

Nogalo says the first furnace will be completely built by the end of the year and is expected to deliver the first heat by March 2025.

Various projects such as the modernization of the plate mill and the $878 million EAF, will transform ASI in the next few years.

“Many parts of the footprint of the plant will be brand new,” says Nogalo. “The primary steelmaking will be brand new with the Electric Arc Furnaces. We’ll have a new vacuum de-gasser. We’ll have two Ladle Metallurgy Furnaces.

We’re coupling that state of the art steelmaking technology with our DSPC (Direct Strip Production Complex) which is already a very competitive and state of the art strip making process and a modernized plate mill so that almost all areas of the plant will be modern and completely up to date with respect to the technology that we use.”

In addition to environment-friendly mega tech projects, ASI has enhanced its community air monitoring, adding three new stations located at Bonney St., 4th Avenue and Cathcart St.

The company has also launched a four-year Shoreline Stabilization and Site Greening project, which will install shoreline protection for a 4.1 km stretch also the St, Mary’s River to prevent erosion. Greening of the shoreline will be conducted in collaboration with Sault College.

Nogalo and other ASI officials were on hand at Thursday’s open house to talk to visitors about various projects and answer questions.

Laura Devoni, ASI Director of Strategy, Corporate Affairs and Sustainability, says it’s part of being “a good neighbor.”

“We’re taking an important role in the Canadian steel industry with our transformation. We’re going to become one of Canada’s largest recyclers. We’re making a massive environmental impact. Our GHG (greenhouse gas) footprint is going to be reduced by 70 per cent and we want to be a good neighbour in Sault Ste. Marie and a good community member and we want to get the word out. 

We want people to know the positive impact we are having.” 

ASI holds quarterly meetings with various civic groups. At the most recent session, a group was taken on a walking tour of the EAF construction site, “which was pretty cool,” said Devoni.

She said inviting the public to the quarterly gatherings is currently under consideration.


  • 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.

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One thought on “Play catch up? No. ASI looks to lead

  1. How can you trust an outfit that won’t even reveal who the owners are despite many requests by the media and others?
    You cannot trust them, at all. They have only their best interests at heart, not yours.

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