Sparrows Point's blast furnace to resume operations

The struggling Sparrows Point steel plant will resume operations of its "L" blast furnace Saturday after it was temporarily shut down for routine maintenance, the company said.

In a letter to customers Friday, RG Steel chief commercial officer Jerry Nelson said the temporary outage that began Wednesday would not have a "detrimental effect on our delivery performance."

Earlier this month, RG Steel told managers and executives, including those at Sparrows Point, that it is cutting their salaries because of weak economic conditions.

The company has taken other actions at the plant, including temporarily shutting down the tin mill in April because of low bookings. The tin mill's operations will restart when market conditions improve, the company said.

At the same time, the company restarted the No. 2 galvanizing line, which produces heavy-gauge coated products. The line was idled by the plant's previous owner in 2010.

In January, RG Steel resumed some steel-making operations there after the plant was idled, including operations of the blast furnace, just before Christmas.

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