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Essar Steel Algoma receives first load of iron ore as shipping improves

Tuesday, April 29, 2014   by: Kenneth Armstrong

Essar Steel Algoma received its first shipment of iron ore pellets of the 2014 shipping season this morning as shipping times on Lake Superior continue to slowly improve.

Mark Gill, director of vessel traffic services for the US Coast Guard, said icebreakers are now leading eight-ship convoys, up from five-ship convoys used as recently as last week, speeding up shipping times.

The icebreakers are able to convoy more ships simultaneously as the ice becomes less of a factor, said Gill.

The Michipicoten, a freighter carrying approximately 20,000 tons of iron ore, arrived at the Essar Steel Algoma slip around 2 a.m. Tuesday and began a six-hour offloading process.

Although Essar Steel Algoma has been receiving shipments of coal by freighter, this is the first shipment of iron ore by freighter for the shipping season, said Brenda Stenta, manager of corporate communications for the company.

Essar Steel Algoma expected the freighter to arrive Sunday night, but heavy winds near Marquette, Michigan slowed its departure, said Gill.

“We stockpile iron ore for the winter season, and we continue to receive iron ore via rail however with the prolonged delay in the resumption of regular spring shipments we have had to match production to available raw materials,” said Stenta.

One loaded freighter carries the same amount of ore as about 190 rail cars, said Stenta.

“Now that regular shipments have resumed we will return to normal production levels,” said Stenta.

Just over half of Lake Superior remains covered in ice as of the most recent data from the Great Lake Environmental Research Laboratory.

(PHOTO: The Michipicoten offloads iron ore pellets at the Essar Steel Algoma slip on April 29, 2014. Armstrong)

Earlier coverage of this story:

River awash in wating ships as ice slowly melts

Thick ice keeps freighters backed up for miles

Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
steelworker 4/29/2014 5:05:03 PM Report

They stockpiled zip-nada last winter and barely cover their bills. Some people must get paid a lot of money to hand out the B.S. we are hearing on this site. Hey Stenta; how are the coke ovens doing right now? Do we have any coal yet?
itsme29 4/29/2014 5:16:43 PM Report

they just don't pay there bills, that's how they cover them!
jroc1982 4/29/2014 6:23:23 PM Report

The funny this is, the reputation they've built themselves in the last few years is starting to catch up with them. How often have they ever posted when Iron Ore shows up?? haha Really.... Everyone knows they're running that place like pimp on Albert, and the city is start to figure it out.
Justmyopinion!!! 4/29/2014 6:23:31 PM Report

If Essar hadn't bought Algoma Steel...where do all you naysayers think it would be today(a ghost mill)?
steelworker 4/29/2014 6:30:26 PM Report

You're absolutely right on that point. It's just that their business model sucks.
itsme29 4/29/2014 7:00:15 PM Report

if they wouldn't have bought it someone else would've, they were just the first one with the cash or more likely credit to do it.. and at that time asc corp came with a mill and nice big handful of cash in the kitty..
Justmyopinion!!! 4/29/2014 7:06:44 PM Report

I don' think that to many other companies were interested in a financially strapped company.....2 bankruptcies mill sell off(give away) and 1 used BFce
Equal_Rights 4/29/2014 7:16:26 PM Report

Hey steelworker have they ever failed to cover your paycheck? when is the last time you got laid off? Place is running so slow right now yet they kept everyone working. With the old Algoma most of the place would of been laid off during times like this. They have had a few bad years...Steel prices soft and raw material prices high equals low profit margins. When money is short you pay who you have to and the rest wait. These suppliers keep coming back for more so they must be getting something out of it. Stop bad mouthing the company that's giving you a very good living and basically keeping this city afloat....because really what else is there here.
steelworker 4/29/2014 7:21:48 PM Report

Obviously you are not a small business/contractor who has no choice but to put up with Essars' way of payment for services.
Equal_Rights 4/29/2014 7:35:02 PM Report

Well no ones making them deal with essar. Go somewhere else....there's 10 others waiting to take there spot. If the top of the food chain is starving the rest should feel the same pinch. I bet your one of the guys who walk around whining how the Indians are stealing our profits blah blah blah....yet you probably have the qualifications to be making $10 an hour. Be thankful your getting paid what you are because there's also 10 guys waiting to take your spot. walmart is always hiring if your not happy.
steelworker 4/29/2014 7:40:49 PM Report

I wouldn't want to take your job as washroom attendant.
Equal_Rights 4/29/2014 7:51:17 PM Report

Thanks for making my point guys...steelworker your an overpaid moron and itsme your right there is nothing else so shut up and deal with...if they think its tough getting money now just imagine if the place wasn't there. They will get paid when the money is available....cant get blood from a turnip.
Koolaid 4/29/2014 7:53:10 PM Report

Good, now those lazy bum steelworkers can finally get to work, instead of sitting around picking their noses.
Big Deal 4/29/2014 7:58:50 PM Report

There is NO stocked coal right now. The pile is ACTUALLY a hole that's a lake!!! We have NO coal boats schedule for a week or two. We have some very lucrative orders we CANNOT fill because we have NO raw materials. It is all propaganda BS.....lipstick on a pig!!!
rockbanger 4/29/2014 8:04:32 PM Report

My friend inside tells me that they are shoving something down the employees throats called.

"Best by Choice"...

Best at what....? Does anyone know what that means?

Best by Choice..... Best SteelMill? Best Company??
steelworker 4/29/2014 8:43:18 PM Report

I bet that if they owed Equal-Rights money for services he would be squealing like a pig. As for picking my nose- I almost have enough to make you a sandwich.
Equal_Rights 4/29/2014 8:51:01 PM Report

And the rest of the burger flippers chime in....

I don't see the propaganda big deal...The story says we have been slow do to lack of raw material. Coal is a raw material. Where not the only steel mill to get caught with our pants around our ankles...There's a few that are down flat. Our rail program kept us going (slowly). There's 8 feet of ice to melt...going to postpone the shipping season a bit and slow everything down. Not the best of situations but at least the place is still going.

Steelworking if you feel so bad for these poor contracting companies why don't you donate your paycheck tomorrow to them so the owners can heat there mansions. Or maybe they should lay you off so they can free up some money to pay them? Probably be one of the most profitable things they have done as a company.
steelworker 4/29/2014 8:55:53 PM Report

Equal_Rights=union pinhead.
Rockin 4/29/2014 9:08:38 PM Report

Read about China reducing it's Steel output and Cement...It all weights out in the end...things catch up etc...the world turns.

You only go around once so enjoy tomorrow!

Have a nice day.
Equal_Rights 4/29/2014 9:18:26 PM Report

steelworker I think everything I have been saying has been anti a union keeping a meathead like you with grade 10 overpaid for 30 years...your response doesn't make sense.

Here let me save you 10 minutes of 1 fingered typing and do your next response for you.

"your a stupid head"

just copy and paste that....your like arguing with a kindergartener.
steelworker 4/29/2014 9:22:32 PM Report

I can't argue with a person who obviously knows how to spell and use proper diction. You must be an Algoma U. grad.
tosimple 4/30/2014 5:48:52 AM Report

I have worked at the mill for over 25 years. There have been good and bad times. I do give Essar a pat on the back for keeping everyone working. This is a bad time and no layoffs. There is no money to pay suppliers and contractors.Yet every one in the place is working OVERTIME. They brass new last July-August about the coal situation and the iron ore. A pile of money was spent on painting and planting grass. A total waste off cash!!! We needed and still need raw materials.. we have orders on the books steel prices have come up a little. We were told told all of this stuff in safety meetings a year ago. It was gona be rough for awhile but gona pick up!!!You think the powers that be would have planned for the good times.... Like having raw materials so we can fill orders... Keep customers coming back!!!
tosimple 4/30/2014 6:01:01 AM Report

Equalrights: What I think Bigdeal ment was that Essar has put on a big front for the city and people who live here. If you don't work at essar its easy to to believe whats in print on sites like this. Is it really big news ore finally got there???? Or that coal has got there? These materials should have been there already!!!!
mpa 4/30/2014 6:21:52 AM Report

tosimple sums it up perfectly. Unless you work at Essar please keep your comments to your self.
kodak11 4/30/2014 8:08:35 AM Report

equal rights you are right...there hasnt been a layoff when the old algoma would have,in the collapse of 2008 they kept most working until after christmas.All their companies run the same it seems.But also lets not forget when they purchased asi they mortgaged the place it didnt take any money out of essars pockets,just put the 400 or so million asi had in the bank in their pocket.
tosimple 4/30/2014 9:13:45 AM Report

Kodak. I totally agree about essar keeping everyone working. I am truly gratefull for having my job. Its my understanding that Essar Steel should be run as self supporting makes sense. If we still had the 400 million.Which I think was actually 700 million in the bank we would have had cash to buy raw materials. Make the repairs around various places that are running on a shoestring....
Stevie-E 4/30/2014 9:24:17 AM Report

Here’s an idea…”forced retirement” for those 55 and older, meaning buy them out or give them a lot more vacation time…I am pretty sure many of them are doggers anyway. In addition to the lack of productivity the mill faces by having this demographic (most of them probably complainers on this site) working, the time wasted complaining about how their lunch was cut 5 minutes short and how Bob turned a wrench when Jim should have would be all but eliminated.

Sure, there’s younger generations of groomed complainers coming from “union families” too, but I would rather see the younger generation working and supporting this city instead of ones who can retire and just won’t leave.
This goes to the “double-dippers” that go work for contractors after they leave the mill. There should be a limit to how much each company can hire these folks. Their experience is worth a lot, but not when there’s many younger guys wanting…I mean needing to work.

This also goes to the teachers who come back from retirement, collecting their VERY GENEROUS pension to supply teach and force the younger ones to search elsewhere. Retirement should be retirement and you should lose your sick days too if you don’t use them, or carry over a maximum of one week per year.

I am sorry for going off on a tangent, but there needs to be big changes in order for the younger generations to survive. People are living longer, are healthier longer, meaning they can work for longer. This is great for them...bad for those struggling to get their foot in the door.
blackhawkman 4/30/2014 9:29:38 AM Report

sounds like Equal_Rights didnt get a job interview at essar or fired
iamtc 4/30/2014 9:56:21 AM Report

I love Essar.
steelworker 4/30/2014 10:52:55 AM Report

It's the best place ever for a "fifty-five year old dogger". Tuck the junior doggers in at night and sit back in the lunchroom and relax. Not.
Lynds 4/30/2014 11:42:43 AM Report

"steelworker 4/29/2014 9:22:32 PM
I can't argue with a person who obviously knows how to spell and use proper diction. You must be an Algoma U. grad."

Lynds 4/30/2014 11:44:04 AM Report


Why do you assume people at Essar have qualifications to make $10.00/hr? You realize that engineers work there, right?

Mr. Poster 4/30/2014 12:12:54 PM Report

I have never been inside the gates of the steel plant. I would never offer suggestions on how to run the place...that should be left up to the employees and their bosses .Crapping on Essar when you have no vested interest in the place seem detrimental to the city at large.I respect them for taking over Algoma and keeping people employed...thank you Essar !!!
Equal_Rights 4/30/2014 7:02:14 PM Report

Umm I work at essar. That was the whole point. I said stop bad mouthing the company that is giving you a very good living. My family has worked there since the 50's. Try reading before making stupid comments. There are a lot of people who are only qualified to make $10/hour working there and are usually the people who are doing the whining about the company stealing all their profit sharing and all the other crap.
Lynds 5/1/2014 8:28:17 AM Report

LOL just because someone calls you out on something doesn't mean they're stupid. I would love to see your credentials. :) This site is the best.
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
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