Small stainless steel industry in Canada – by Stan Sudol (Sudbury Star – October 17, 2013)

The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.

Re: From ore to steel, column by Stan Sudol — Aug. 31.

In my column on the potential of a stainless steel industry in Ontario, I mistakenly said that there is no stainless steel industry in Canada. I was given incorrect information. I should have said, “At the present time, there is no ‘major’ stainless steel production in Canada.”

Gratefully, ASW Steel Inc. president Tim Clutterbuck contacted me and indicated that his Welland, Ont.-based specialty steel facility dedicates 30% of its production capacity to stainless steel. The company employs about 95 employees and manufactures roughly 100,000 tonnes of specialty steel products annually, of which 30,000 tonnes are stainless steel ingots and billets, that are exported to the U.S. and Europe.

By comparison, Outokumpu, the biggest international producer, manufactures almost 3.6 million tons of stainless steels worldwide, slightly over 10% of the 35.4 million tonnes of global production last year, according to International Stainless Steel Forum preliminary figures.

ASW Steel is the remaining production assets from the former Atlas Steels, which in its heyday in the late 1960s and early 1970s, produced about 300,000 tons of stainless steel products and employed 3,000 workers.

At that time, Atlas Steel shipped its products to more than 50 countries around the world and its research and development activities were globally renowned. Today, due to technological advancements, we would not see as high a number of employees in any new stainless steel facilities.

However, Ontario can once again become a major player in global stainless steel production, once the current glut disappears, if the provincial politicians make this a policy priority and use the enormous chromite deposits in the Ring of Fire as an incentive to locate here.

My apologies for the misinformation.

Stan Sudol Toronto

For the original version, click here: