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GOV. CASEY COMMENDS DECISION BY SCHOOL EMPLOYES RETIREMENT SYSTEM TO PROVIDE FUNDING FOR SHARON STEEL

 GOV. CASEY COMMENDS DECISION BY SCHOOL EMPLOYES
 RETIREMENT SYSTEM TO PROVIDE FUNDING FOR SHARON STEEL
 HARRISBURG, Pa., Oct. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Gov. Robert P. Casey today commended the Public School Employes Retirement System's (PSERS) decision to provide $30 million in financing for the Sharon Steel Corp. plant in Farrell.
 "This action by the Public School Employes Retirement System board is a positive step forward in sustaining Sharon Steel Corp. as a major presence in the Shenango Valley," Casey said.
 "While there obviously are many issues which must be addressed before the company receives this additional funding, I want to recognize the efforts which have led to today's action."
 The PSERS board voted to provide $30 million in venture capital financing for the company. The total includes $20 million in working capital and $10 million to help finance a continuous caster.
 Just last month, Casey announced that the state Department of Commerce was providing an additional $5 million toward the purchase of the caster, which brought the Commonwealth's commitment to $9 million.
 The $40 million caster is a massive piece of equipment that increases efficiency and saves money by eliminating several manufacturing steps in turning molten steel into slabs.
 Casey credited Commerce Secretary Andrew T. Greenberg with working to keep the financing deal on track with the company and PSERS.
 John D. Fry, president and chief operating officer of Sharon Steel, said, "I commend Casey for his efforts on behalf of Sharon Steel. The governor has mobilized the resources of the Commonwealth to support this company and the citizens of the Shenango Valley.
 "I also commend Secretary Greenberg and the Governor's Response Team, who have never tired in their efforts to help Sharon Steel."
 Greenberg said while the PSERS board has approved the financing, a settlement on the deal must be reached within two weeks for the funding to be finalized. He said the state will continue to work with the company and the bank consortium to successfully complete the arrangements.
 The state has pledged $12 million to the company since Casey took office. After Sharon Steel filed for Chapter 11 protection in 1987, Casey acted to save the plant and preserve its jobs by earmarking $3 million in state funds to help pay for the relining of the company's blast furnaces.
 In 1990, as the company emerged from bankruptcy, the need for a continuous caster was recognized in its capital investment plans.
 /delval/
 -0- 10/30/92
 /CONTACT: Ron Jury of the Department of Commerce, 717-783-1132/ CO: Department of Commerce; Pennsylvania Governor's Office ST: Pennsylvania IN: SU:


JS -- PH046 -- 7358 10/30/92 17:39 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 30, 1992
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