Monessen coke plant set to resume production

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The world's largest steel producer is restarting its Monessen coke plant, five years after the facility was idled.

Luxembourg-based ArcelorMittal is scheduled to resume production at the plant this month, according to a company securities filing. The plant has been idled since May 2009. The steel producer announced in 2012 that it would invest $50 million in the plant and reopen it, creating 113 jobs.

ArcelorMittal purchased the plant from Koppers in October 2008 for about $160 million.

The plant can produce up to 320,000 metric tons of coke annually. Coke is a baked coal used as a fuel in blast furnaces.

Two other area coke plants, one in Clairton owned by U.S. Steel and DTE Energy's plant on Neville Island, are among the biggest sources of complaints about air quality in the region.

The state Department of Environmental Protection said Monday it will test the air quality near the Monessen plant before production resumes as well as after it reopens.

"We will work to ensure that the plant is operating within the parameters of its air quality permits," DEP regional director Susan Malone said in a statement provided to the media.

Len Boselovic: or 412-263-1941.

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