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Arrival of steel line projected for summer. (Sault Ste Marie).

With a vice-like grip Lappin Industries continues to hold on to its plan to bring a niche galvanizing line to Sault Ste. Marie despite a slow process.

A feasibility study was conducted last year, but the overall plan has changed for Lappin, says Shane Halpin, vice-president of Lappin Industries.

"The study did not really specify into our business exactly what we wanted to do and we had to do further homework," says Halpin. "Our game plan now is utilizing Algoma Steel's Direct Strip Production Complex (DSCP) quality steel."

The original study was based on bringing in a different type of steel.

"It just was not as good as the plan we have now."

Lappin Industries has now hired a chief operating officer, recognizing the company lacked high-end executive management experience.

"(The CEO) is a lawyer and a professional engineer by trade and an exDefasco person," says Halpin. "We are quite high on him."

The new CEO is currently working with Algoma Steel on Lappin's behalf.

"There is no doubt about it the new CEO is going to give us the proper management to pursue this major project."

Halpin says the proposed galvanizing line would benefit Algoma Steel.

"We are going to ramp up to using 400,000 tons of their steel a year."

The project is still considered extremely worthwhile and the new CEO has opened new doors.

"Our CEO has enlightened Algoma Steel to a bunch of other value-added products that they are seriously considering."

The biggest part of Lappin's plan is utilizing Algoma Steel's DSPC sub-straight.

"It is a high-strength product, and the only way to galvanize it properly and maintain that strength is to electrogalvanize," says Halpin. "Once you hot dip that product you change the strength quality in the hot roll and you lose all the advantages of your high strength, so electrogalvanizing is the way to go."

Halpin estimates the project could take six to eight weeks or longer to further develop and become a reality.

"We have done our homework and we have to do it slowly and properly," says Halpin. "We intend to go to the market well educated and not haphazardly."

The business plan also had to be reengineered to increase tonnage.

"Our first plan was to stick to 200,000 tons, but when we realized Algoma Steel was coming on board we wanted to increase that and it has delayed us a little bit," says Halpin. "It is not really a delay because we realize it is something we have to do at this stage."

Halpin is satisfied with the progress of the project and is looking forward to bringing the galvanizing line to the Sault.

"A real benefit is the 60 or more jobs that will be created in spinoff areas like slitting, roll forming and tube forming," says Halpin. "Without galvanizing in town, there is not much chance to do much because shipping it is not going to happen."
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Title Annotation:Lappin Industries
Author:Haddow, Scott Hunter
Publication:Northern Ontario Business
Article Type:Company Profile
Geographic Code:1CONT
Date:Apr 1, 2003
Words:490
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