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BETHLEHEM STEEL'S CHAIRMAN SAYS INTEGRATED STEEL MILLS 'CAN AND WILL COMPETE' WITH NEW THIN-SLAB MINIMILLS

 NEW YORK, June 22 /PRNewswire/ -- The chairman of Bethlehem Steel Corporation (NYSE: BS) told a steel industry conference here today that the major integrated steel mills in the United States "can and will compete with the new thin-slab minimills."
 Speaking at the eighth "Steel Survival Strategies Conference" sponsored by American Metal Market, Curtis H. Barnette, Bethlehem's chairman, pointed out that American steel producers have long been operating in the most competitive steel market anywhere in the world.
 Barnette said: "Over the last 10 years we have been in the process of reinventing ourselves, shedding significant costs while upgrading quality and service. And we aren't finished yet. All the major integrateds are currently advancing total quality, achieving new efficiencies, and reducing costs.
 "After all we have been through," he declared, "you may be assured that we will meet the challenges of the new thin-slab flat-rolling mills."
 As an example, he noted that Bethlehem's Burns Harbor, Ind., Division, which produces flat-rolled products for the automotive and other markets, is "fully cost-competitive with these new mills" and that its "quality and product sophistication are far superior."
 Barnette said Bethlehem Steel is "aggressively implementing" a variety of measures to further improve the competitiveness of its flat- rolled steel production facilities at Burns Harbor and Sparrows Point, Md.
 He said these measures include: cost-reduction programs to match the costs of Bethlehem's toughest competition; improved productivity through better management/labor cooperation; closer partnerships with customers and suppliers; use of the best technology available, such as the company's three new state-of-the-art coating lines; and commitment to total quality and continuous improvement in all aspects of its business.
 The Bethlehem chairman concluded his presentation by emphasizing that "we are focused on our objectives" and noting that "we have premier facilities, skilled employees and customer-driven business units to help us succeed."
 "Do I believe this can be done? Yes. Absolutely yes," said Barnette.
 /delval/
 -0- 6/22/93
 /CONTACT: H.H. Von Spreckelsen, manager, corporate communications, of Bethlehem Steel, 215-694-3711/
 (BS)


CO: Bethlehem Steel Corporation ST: Indiana, Pennsylvania IN: MNG SU:

MP-MK -- PH017 -- 4557 06/22/93 12:09 EDT
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Date:Jun 22, 1993
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