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INSTALLATION OF ADVANCED RAIL PRODUCTION EQUIPMENT TO BEGIN AT BETHLEHEM STEEL'S PST SUBSIDIARY

 STEELTON, Pa., March 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Work will begin in the next several weeks on the installation of highly advanced steelmaking and railroad rail production equipment at Pennsylvania Steel Technologies (PST), Inc.
 The new equipment will enable PST to serve its customers as the low- cost producer of high-quality rails, bars and semi-finished products in North America.
 Overall, the improvements planned for this central Pennsylvania steel plant are expected to cost between $7O million and $80 million.
 "We've already begun site clearance for our new facilities. Actual construction and installation of equipment will start within the next several weeks," said Andrew R. Futchko, president of PST, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bethlehem Steel Corporation (NYSE: BS). PST formerly was known as Bethlehem's Rail Products and Pipe Division.
 Futchko said the modernization project is expected to take about one year to complete. Included in the state-of-the-art facilities to be installed here, Futchko said, are a 150-ton DC (direct current) electric arc steelmaking furnace, a ladle furnace, a vacuum degassing unit and a proprietary process for the production of high-quality, head-hardened premium railroad rail.
 A letter of intent has been signed for the purchase of the plant's DC steelmaking furnace from an American/Japanese joint venture company, NKK-United, Inc. A letter of intent also has been signed for the purchase of the ladle furnace and vacuum degassing equipment from Electric Metallurgy Company International (EMCI) of Pittsburgh.
 The new DC furnace, which will be manufactured primarily in the United States, will complement the plant's existing modern continuous casting machine, and will replace two operating AC (alternating current) steelmaking furnaces.
 Electric furnaces produce steel from steel scrap -- essentially a giant recycling operation.
 Futchko noted that DC furnaces are considered more efficient and more economical to operate than AC furnaces.
 The addition here of a ladle furnace will provide the plant with a further steel-refining process to allow for adjustments in metal chemistry and temperature control.
 And the new degassing unit, which will remove unwanted gases from molten steel, especially hydrogen, will be used primarily in processing steel for high-strength rails.
 The plant's modern and efficient continuous caster has been in use since 1982. Casting is a widely accepted, state-of-the-art technology that produces blooms from a stream of molten steel, eliminating the need for ingot molds. The process also provides a higher quality of semi- finished steel.
 Of all of the changes being planned by PST, perhaps the most significant is the installation of a newly acquired technology for rail head-hardening.
 "Current processes harden the entire rail, adding to the costs of production," said Futchko. "The technology we will be using exposes only the head of the rail to the hardening process. Once this technology is installed, we will be the only producer offering head- hardened rail in North America."
 Futchko said the head-hardening technology is being purchased from Paul Wurth, Inc., a U.S. representative of a Luxembourg firm.
 "When all of these changes are in place," Futchko said, "we will be in a much stronger position to compete in all areas of our business, not only in production of rails, bar and semi-finished steel, but in pipe production, as well."
 He said the plant's large-diameter pipe business has been showing considerable signs of improvement recently and that the outlook for pipe sales appears good.
 "We've got a commitment here, between union and management, to make this plant the best in our field," said Futchko. "We've won the confidence of our parent corporation, and everyone here's determined to make good on that trust."
 /delval/
 -0- 3/11/93
 /CONTACT: H.H. Von Spreckelsen, manager, corporate communications, of Bethlehem Steel, 215-694-3711/
 (BS)


CO: Pennsylvania Steel Technologies (PST), Inc.; Bethlehem Steel
 Corporation ST: Pennsylvania IN: MNG SU:


MJ-MK -- PH010 -- 5098 03/11/93 12:28 EST
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Date:Mar 11, 1993
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