[New Castle, PA – October 10, 2019] Dr. Peter Navarro, Director of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy in the Trump administration, and Richard Spencer, Secretary of the US Navy, visited an area steel mill today to inspect the manufacture of shafting and other forgings that form vital components for US Navy vessels. They were accompanied by Congressman Mike Kelly, whose congressional district (PA- 16) includes New Castle. Kelly had suggested the visit to the New Castle plant to Navarro and Spencer.
They viewed the production of a 72’ foot-long, 190,000 lb. main propulsion shaft for a Virginia Class attack submarine as it was forged—red hot– under a 10,120 ton capacity forging press at 2,300 degrees Fahrenheit. Other Navy shafts in production in the plant were also on view, including forgings for the Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class destroyer.
The facility is equipped to make large forgings for all of the Navy’s ships and submarines, including aircraft carriers. Such forgings include also critical parts for the nuclear reactors that supply power to submarines and aircraft carriers.
North American Forgemasters is a joint venture between ELLWOOD, Ellwood City, PA, and Scot Forge, Spring Grove, IL. Executives of those companies were on hand to host the Washington visitors. David Barensfeld, Chairman of the Board of ELLWOOD, stated: “We are thrilled to receive these important visitors from the Navy and the White House. Their personal attention to our nation’s industrial supply base is proof of their strong engagement in the successful build up of our nation’s defense.”
John Cain, Chief Executive of Scot Forge, commented: “North American Forgemasters represents a $100 million dollar investment by Scot and ELLWOOD in the industrial infrastructure necessary for our national defense, on top of the large additional capital investment the two partners have made in their plants to finish parts forged at NAF. We need for the Navy to require that critical parts such as propulsion shafts be subject to a strict Buy American rule that keeps American shops like NAF familiar, ready and able to make these important parts.”
Barensfeld and Cain stressed that North American Forgemasters is also able to make nuclear power supply parts for Navy ships, including parts for their nuclear reactor-fired power, and anticipates receiving orders for these parts from Navy subcontractors. They stated: “We cordially invite procurement officials from the Navy and its contractors to visit NAF as well as our other plants in western Pennsylvania and Illinois to view other investments our two companies have made to be able to manufacture the Navy parts, and to discuss how we can collaborate on the design and production of critical parts, to better save the Navy time and money in their procurement.”
Under the joint venture agreement, ELLWOOD supplies steel ingots to the joint venture, which forges the parts to a semi—finished shape for further forging and/or machining at the partners’ respective plants in New Castle, Irvine, PA and Spring Grove, IL. The North American Forgemasters plant is located in New Castle, adjacent to ELLWOOD’s electric arc furnace shop, ELLWOOD Quality Steels, that supplies NAF with its raw material for forging.
Barensfeld stated, “We thank Congressman Kelly for suggesting today’s visit, and for his steadfast support of a strong American defense force, and in particular for his outspoken support for a strong Buy American rule requiring that critical defense parts be made in the United States and not imported from foreign companies.”