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 BETHLEHEM, Pa., Sept. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Bethlehem Steel Corporation (NYSE: BS) today announced a plan to provide BethForge, Inc., with a new source of high-quality, low-cost, ladle-refined steel ingots to reduce the subsidiary company's operating costs and strengthen its competitiveness in the market for forged and machined steel products.
 The plan calls for the installation of an $8 million ingot teeming facility and vacuum stream degassing unit at Bethlehem's Pennsylvania Steel Technologies, Inc., subsidiary at Steelton, Pa.
 The decision to locate the new teeming and degassing facilities at PST takes advantage of the modernization of PST's electric steelmaking complex, which is now under way and scheduled for operation in mid-1994. This state-of-the-art facility will include a 150-ton DC electric arc steelmaking furnace, a ladle refining station and a vacuum degassing unit.
 Backed by the combination of low-cost, high-quality steel and its new labor agreement with the United Steelworkers of America, BethForge will be able to reduce its operating costs and increase its participation in today's extremely competitive forgings market.
 BethForge manufactures precision custom forgings, turbine and generator rotors, parts for nuclear reactors and rolls for steel and aluminum rolling mills.
 "Through our decision today, we are taking yet another step to establish Bethlehem Steel and its independent subsidiaries as sources for the lowest cost, highest quality steel and steel products available anywhere in the world," said Curtis H. Barnette, Bethlehem Steel's chairman and chief executive officer.
 Barnette noted that Bethlehem has invested $13 million modernizing its local forgings business in the past three years and, he said, "We remain confident that BethForge can again be a positive contributor to our bottom line, given its new labor agreement and this new plan for the future."
 Edmund G. Riccio, BethForge's president, said installation of the new equipment, which he called "the cornerstone of BethForge's strategic plan," will allow the closing of BethForge's existing high-cost and older electric furnace steelmaking operation here. He said this will take place during 1995 and that approximately 45 employees will be affected.
 "We've been competing in a market that demands the utmost in quality at a low cost, attainable only with the most modern in steelmaking and refining equipment. We will now have that equipment," said Riccio.
 He explained that while the Steelton operation has its own vacuum degassing facility, the installation there of a stream degassing unit will provide some of the "critical use" types of steel required by BethForge. The process eliminates hydrogen gas that affects the homogeneity and quality of the steel.
 "In serving the varied needs of our customers, we will be able to provide standard vacuum degassed steel or vacuum stream degassed steel, depending on the end application," he said.
 Riccio expressed confidence in the company's highly skilled work force and in the heightened quality and cost savings expected from the new equipment.
 "Our strengthened sales and marketing team and the high quality ingots from PST, along with our skilled workers, will enable us to increase our share of key market areas and achieve significant increases in volume, leading us to sustained profitability," Riccio said..
 -0- 9/30/93
 /CONTACT: Gary W. Graham of Bethlehem Steel, 215-694-5350/

CO: Bethlehem Steel Corporation; BethForge, Inc. ST: Pennsylvania IN: MNG SU:

MJ -- PH035 -- 7454 09/30/93 16:15 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 30, 1993

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