AK Steel has idled its flat rolled stainless steel mill in Mansfield, Ohio for two weeks amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
An AK Steel spokesperson told Davis Index that the plant was already up for a scheduled maintenance this April and that the company was extending the shut down by another week due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The plant will restart operations by April 16, the spokesperson said.
The extension of the shut down by a week is also meant to help the facility balance its supply with the low demand for its products from the automotive industry, the spokesperson added, without giving further details on the supply volume that would get impacted.
The Mansfield facility caters to the automotive sector, which has undertaken extensive operations suspensions and extensions of those shutdowns to safeguard its employees from the COVID-19 spread. These shutdowns will also affect AK’s supply chain from this facility.
Ford, for example, was to restart its operations on April 6, but extended the shutdown on Wednesday, without giving another date to reopen its facility. Similary, Subaru has also suspended its American and Japanese manufacturing operations.
The Mansfield unit is part of AK Steel, which was recently acquired by Cleveland Cliffs. The facility is housed on a 1.6 mn sqft of manufacturing space. The plant contains melting, casting, hot and cold rolling and finishing operations along with a thin slab caster with advanced technology to cater to exact customer specification.