Big Steel And The Minimills Team Up

IT HAS BECOME THE CIVIL WAR of America's steel industry: Big Steel against the minimills. Now, the standard bearers of that fray are going into business together. In a joint venture, USX's U.S. Steel group and Nucor will try to develop technology to turn iron carbide directly into steel. Such technology could eliminate costly--and dirty--steps from the steelmaking process. This is important for Big Steel, which faces steady environmental pressure to clean up or eliminate coke ovens. Nucor, which makes its steel by melting scrap, says it also will build new steel mills for the iron carbide process if the technology works. "We can't stand still," says Nucor Vice-Chairman Samuel Siegel.

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