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What’s the future of Mountain State Carbon in Follansbee?

Updated: Monday, July 21 2014, 05:14 PM EDT
FOLLANSBEE, W.Va. – Ohio-based AK Steel said Monday that it has signed an agreement to acquire Severstal North America’s integrated steelmaking assets for $700 million. The acquisition also includes Mountain State Carbon in Follansbee.
It’s news that comes days after Koppers Industries – also located in Follansbee -- said it may close its facility.
But it may not be bad news. Detailed information about what will happen with the sale to AK-Steel just isn't there yet. There is, however, worry coming from city officials, as Mountain State Carbon employs more than 200 people.
"There are always concerns,” Follansbee City Manager John Destefano said. “I mean you're talking about a major tax base. You've got both plants as the largest tax base in the city."
That concern is growing for people who live in the area.
One man said while he is only an hourly employee, he is scared that new management will come in and change everything.
But that change may not be bad.
United Steel Workers Union Director David McCall released this statement saying:
"We're hopeful that our union will be able to negotiate a fair and equitable collective bargaining agreement with AK Steel that acknowledges workers' contributions to Mountain State Carbon's success and secures the long-term operation of the coke plant."
While the future is not clear for Mountain State Carbon or the Koppers plant, what is clear is the concern people have about all the changes.
"The close proximity of both plants has always been a good marriage over the years,” Destefano said. “We're hoping that that can still take place."
US Steel is taking over Russian Company Severstal's entire North American operation.

What’s the future of Mountain State Carbon in Follansbee?

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