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MISHAWAKA, Ind., March 11 /PRNewswire/ -- A major expansion of the Granite City Steel Division of National Steel Corporation (NYSE: NS) features a new coating line geared to meet the growing demand among the construction industry for a lighter, versatile, rust-resistant steel.

The new line -- Triple G Coating -- was officially opened today in a ceremony held at the Granite City Steel Division. The new line can produce 270,000 tons of high-quality galvanized and GALVALUME(R) product annually, in widths ranging from 24" to 49" and in gauges from .0085" to .0300".

"The new Triple G coating line positions National Steel -- Granite City -- to have at one location the full market basket of high quality products required for the low rise construction industry -- hot rolled, galvanized and GALVALUME," said Bill Goebel, Vice President, Marketing & Sales, National Steel Corporation. "This line enhances our ability to grow National's leadership position in high margin, value-added products in one of the very few growth markets for flat rolled steel products."

The material will be marketed to the low-rise construction industry for use by the commercial industrial community and residential segments. Granite City Steel has been producing galvanized steel for roofing and siding under the names of Strongbarn, Strongbarn II, Strongpanel and Strongtrim, but GALVALUME -- which is coated with a combination of zinc and aluminum -- is a relatively new, high-demand product in the emerging market for residential roofing, siding and framing.

George Becker, International President, United Steelworkers of America, said, "This line will keep Granite City and National Steel at the cutting edge of technology as we move into the 21st century."

Technological advances in recent years have made steel a practical and cost-effective material for both commercial and residential buildings, and the American Iron and Steel Institute estimates that industry shipments for residential housing could grow to as much as 2 million tons annually by the year 2000. National Steel anticipated this trend and charted a path to meet the changing market needs.

"This is another step highlighting National Steel's commitment to responding quickly to customers' demands," said Ken Leonard, Vice President & General Manager of the Granite City Division. "The new line was completed in record-breaking time," he added. The official groundbreaking for the Triple G line took place April 13, 1995, and it was up and running by the end of January, 1996.

The new line brings an added 40-50 jobs to the Granite City facility, which employs more than 3,000 people and is located on 1,540 acres near St. Louis. It is estimated that operation of the Triple G line will increase the company's major purchases in the Granite City area by about $27 million annually, exclusive of utilities.

V. John Goodwin, National Steel Corporation's President and CEO, said the rapid construction of the new line and its quick start-up are accomplishments that can be traced to a strong partnering relationship with the United Steelworkers of America. "With their help and cooperation, we were able to quickly build the line and operate it competitively," Goodwin said.

The new facility, featuring state-of-the-art technology, brings National's coated product capacity to more than 2 million tons annually, including the company's capacity from two joint ventures. It is nearly identical to the National Steel Corporation/Bethlehem joint venture plant called Double G Coatings, Inc., located in Jackson, Mississippi. Double G has an annual production capacity of 270,000 tons of galvanized and GALVALUME product, and National Steel is entitled to market 50 percent of its line time.

The other joint venture, DNN Galvanizing Corporation, is owned by National Steel, NKK and Dofasco Inc. of Canada. Located on 28 acres in Windsor, Ontario, near Detroit, it began commercial operation in early 1993 and is designed to produce high quality galvanized steel for the automotive markets in the United States and Canada.

Headquartered in Mishawaka, Indiana, National is the nation's fourth largest integrated steel company, with annual shipments of approximately five and one-half million tons of flat rolled products. National employs approximately 9,500 people.
 -0- 3/11/96

/CONTACT: Media, Leon L. Judd, 219-273-7631, analyst/investor, Joseph A. Rainis, 219-273-7158, both of National Steel Corporation/


CO: National Steel Corporation, Granite City Steel ST: Indiana IN: MNG SU: PDT

RM-NT -- NYM022 -- 0648 03/11/96 09:30 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 11, 1996

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