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Charter Steel to Add $90M Melting Facility to Ohio Plant

August 19, 2004

Officials from Charter Steel today announced that the company will be starting construction on a new steel melting facility on the site of its bar and rod rolling mill located in Cuyahoga Heights near Cleveland, Ohio. The $90 million expansion project includes an electric arc furnace, a ladle metallurgical furnace, a vacuum degassing unit, and a billet casting facility that is expected to be completed by April 2006, and will employ 140 people when fully staffed.

"This new melting and casting facility has been designed to go beyond Charter Steel's current steel-making capability," said John Mellowes, Chairman and CEO of Charter Manufacturing Company. "This expansion will allow us to provide cleaner steels with superior surface characteristics and minimal internal segregation to support a growing need for special bar quality steels that our customers require for their most demanding applications."

The new melting facility initially will provide 350,000 annual tons of special bar quality steel melting and direct billet casting capacity to support the existing Charter Steel rolling mill at the 250-acre site in Cuyahoga Heights. The current facility produces steel for makers of cold headed fasteners, bearings, specialty springs, cold forgings, cold finished bars and other components for a wide variety of industries. Charter officials say the new melting facility would be increased to produce up to 700,000 annual tons, when needed.

Mellowes said the new on-site melting facility in Cuyahoga Heights also provides the most economical solution for supplying the Charter Cuyahoga Heights rolling plant with the melted steel supply it needs. "We had a strong need for added capacity to support our Cleveland operations, and when considering transportation and the closeness to our markets, adding a melting facility to the 250-acre site there made the most economic sense," added Mellowes. "We're excited about the opportunity to expand in Cuyahoga Heights to help us maintain our position as a leading American supplier of carbon and alloy steel bar, rod and wire products." He added that the company would continue to purchase significant quantities of steel billets from outside sources in order to support specific customer needs.

Contracts for engineering, procurement and construction management contracts have been awarded to the Pittsburgh office Lockwood Greene Engineers, Inc. Equipment manufacturer, Danieli, will provide the electric furnace, ladle metallurgical furnace, vacuum degassing unit and billet caster.

This Ohio expansion comes on the heels of several other major Charter Steel expansions in the past several years, as the company continues to look for new ways to better serve existing and potential customers. In November 2000, Charter expanded its full-service coil processing, wire drawing, and materials distribution capabilities with a new facility near Toledo, Ohio.