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US Steel, Kobe Investing $400M In New Line

United States Steel and Japan's Kobe Steel said that their joint venture will spend $400 million to build a line to soften steel at its facility in Leipsic, Ohio.

LEIPSIC, Ohio (AP) -- United States Steel Corp. and Japan's Kobe Steel Ltd. said Thursday they've agreed that their joint venture, Pro-Tec Coating Company, will spend $400 million to build a line to soften steel at its facility in Leipsic, Ohio.

The project is expected to increase the joint venture's ability to serve its automotive customers. The construction of the continuous annealing line is expected to create 500 temporary construction jobs and 80 full-time jobs once it begins operating. The project is expected to take two years to complete.

The companies have been supplying the auto industry with hot-dipped galvanized high-strength steel through the joint venture since 1993. With the addition of the continuous annealing line, Pro-Tec will now produce cold-rolled advanced high-strength steels and ultra-high-strength steels for certain automotive structural parts.

The material helps enhance vehicle strength and safety, the companies said, while reducing the vehicle's weight and improving fuel efficiency. The line will have an annual production capacity of 500,000 tons. The line will process steel purchased from U. S. Steel.

U.S. Steel shares rose 28 cents to $50.57 in morning trading.

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