Geneva Steel

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When the Defense Plant Corporation built a steel plant at Geneva, Utah in 1942-43, it was operated under contract by Geneva Steel Company, a subsidiary of the United States Steel Company. After the war, U. S. Steel (which had acquired Columbia Steel Company), also purchased the Geneva Plant from DPC. Both facilities were then operated as a U.S.S. subsidiary, the Columbia-Geneva Steel Company. After a reorganization in 1947-1948, the operations became the U. S. Steel Corp., Geneva Division.

The following overall description in 1946 comes from the June 18, 1946 issue of the Salt Lake Telegram newspaper:

Geneva Planned in '41, Erected by U. S. Steel -- Said to be the largest steel plant ever built as one integrated unit, Geneva was conceived in the nation's defense program and born at the close of America's participation in the recent war.

Seeking an expansion of steel production facilities in the west, the government early in 1941 asked United States Steel Corp. to submit plans for such a program. Several proposals were made and the plant, to be located at Geneva, finally won approval.

Immediate use of the plan was to supply 700,000 tons of plate and 200,000 tons of structural steel shapes per year for the rapidly increasing shipbuilding program on the west coast.

Following approval of plans, the government asked U. S. Steel to act as prime contractor and the construction job was turned over to Columbia Steel Co., U. S. Steel's western subsidiary. W. A. Ross, president of Columbia, was in charge of the project and first ground was broken at the site March 27, 1942.

Construction of the plant went through a stormy period with priority regulations and an acute labor shortage hampering progress. Changes in plans also affected affected construction - at one time the structural rolling mill was ordered abandoned, but was later reinstated at the insistence of western interests - and at times it appeared that the sprawling plant would fail to get into production in time to contribute anything at all to the war effort.

However, western interests were constant in their efforts toward completion of the plant and construction went forward. At the height of construction activity, there were more than 10,000 workmen and contractors at the site. To build the plant required more than 20,000 carloads of materials, in addition to truck shipments. Steel to a total of 90,000 tons and concrete totaling 675,000 cubic yards went into construction.

With operation of part of the plant expected soon, the government in August 1943 requested a new subsidiary to operate Geneva, and Geneva Steel Co., took over the job to complete construction and operate the plant without profit or fee.

The by-product coke ovens were the first major units to go into operation, the long awaited day being in December 1943. Their operation was quickly followed by the blowing in of the first blast furnace in January 1944, and the first heat of steel was tapped from the open hearth furnaces on Feb 4. March 22 saw the first plate rolled and the first structural shapes were turned out early in July. The structural rolling mill went into operation later and early in 1945 was producing a substantial amount of shell steel billets.

As it stands now, with its wartime operations at a close, the plant includes as major units, 252 by-prouduct coke ovens in four batteries, three 1100-ton blast furnaces, nine 225-ton open hearth furnaces, plate and structural rolling mills, power plant, a byproducts plant, coal mine, limestone and dolomite quarries and enlarged iron ore production equipment.

From its conception the plant had been eyed with a view to postwar operation and on Feb. 6, 1945, when it was just getting into major war production, U. S. Steel advised the government it was interested in discussing a posssible basis for purchase or lease of the plant. However six months later Benjamin F. Fairless, corporation president, reported to RFC that directors had decided no further action would be taken to acquire the plant.

Victory over Japan saw Geneva operations curtailed and the operating arrangement terminated 90 days after cessation of hostilities, or Nov. 12. The plant has since continued standby maintenance operations under Geneva Steel Co. with approximately 900 employees retained on the pay roll.

The following comes from Dave Nelson, email to Espee group at Yahoo Groups, dated March 20, 2006:

Kaiser owned a coal mine in Carbon County, Utah (D&RGW service) that provided the bulk of the metalurgical (met) coal used at Fontana but it was mixed with a much smaller quantity of high quality met coal from someplace in the Ozarks -- pretty much the same thing as was used at the Geneva Works outside Provo. And in the war years, iron ore came from Utah as well, off the UP who served such mines east of Cedar City Utah.

The ICC was a peculiar beast in the old days, who believed they could -- and should -- determine market areas and pick winners and loosers for same and they did so via their approval/disapproval of railroad shipping rates. So for instance Geneva Steel in Utah and CF&I in Colorado were not allowed to enter each others markets because the ICC refused rates that would have allowed shipping the finished goods from each place to move over the Rockies into the others markets.

The same approach was applied to Geneva and Fontana -- Geneva converted their large slab production from ship building to coil production, which was shipped into California for tinning -- two USS owned facilities called Columbia Steel, with a plant at Pittsburg and another plant at Torrence. They tinned the steel and sold it to can factories up and down the Pacific coast. So it's probably safe to say coil was NOT one of the products from Kaiser Fontana.

Defense Plant Corporation

Defense Plant Corporation (1941-1946)

Plancor 301 -- Research suggests that the Geneva steel mill, the extension of the Carbon County Railway to serve the coal mine in Horse Canyon, and the mine itself was given the overall DPC designation of Plancor 301. The Plancor name was a contraction of Plant Corporation and was part of a series of designations used by the government's Reconstruction Finance Corporation to administer and monitor the plants built to support the war effort. There were as many as 2,511 Defense Plant Corporation facilities, designated as Plancor 1 through 2511. There were 185 facilties built to directly support U. S. Army activities, designated as Army Plant 1 through 185, along with 56 facilities built to directly support U. S. Navy activities, designated as Navy Plants 1 through 56.

"The Defense Plant Corporation was established on August 22, 1940, to finance and supervise construction and equipping of industrial facilities operated, for the most part, by private concerns sponsored by federal agencies administering defense and war programs. Dissolved, July 1, 1945. Functions, assets, and liabilities were merged with the RFC. The RFC Office of Defense Plants was established to liquidate DPC assets." (National Archives, Records of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation)

One of the contractors doing their part to build the Geneva steel plant as McGraw-Pomeroy-Morrison Company.

December 1941
Columbia Steel, U.S. Steel Corporation's West Coast subsidiary, has been authorized to construct additional facilities near Provo at a coast of $91,000,000 to be used in the production of pig iron, steel, and steel plate. This is in addition to the $35,000,000 contract with Defense Plant Corporation for two blast furnaces at Provo authorized last October, for a total cost of $126,000,000. The estimated annual capacity will be 1,450,000 tons pig iron, 840,000 tons open hearth ingots, and 500,000 tons plates. Defense Plant Corp. will own the plant. Other Defense Plant Corp. steel plant expenditures, all expansions of existing plants, are Carnegie-Illinois at Braddock, Pennsylvania, $22,000,000; Carnegie-Illinois at Homestead, Pennsylvania and Duquesne, Pennsylvania, $85,000,000; Republic Steel at Cleveland, Youngstown, and Warren, Ohio, and Birmingham, Alabama, $58,312,000; Bethlehem Steel at Bethlehem and Steelton, Pennsylvania, Sparrows Point, Maryland, and Lackawanna, New York, $55,777,000; Inland Steel at Chicago, $34,000,000; Sheffield Steel (subsidiary American Rolling Mill Company), Houston Ship Canal, Texas, $22,670,855; total to date approximately $413,000,000. All are expansions excepts the Sheffield and Provo plants, which are new. (Blast Furnace & Steel Plant, Volume 29, Number 12, December 1941, page 1235)

April 1942
"Construction of the plant for the government was begun by Columbia Steel company, west coast subsidiary of U. S. Steel, in April 1942. In August of this year (1943), Geneva Steel company, a newly formed U. S. Steel subsidiary, contracted with Defense Plant Corporation to operate this great war plant for the duration without profit of fee." (Park Record, January 6, 1944)

"The 1600-acre plant site was cleared of farm buildings in April 1942, and construction was undertaken at the request of the Defense Plant corporation." (Salt Lake Telegram, December 14, 1943)

November 1942
More than 8,000 are employed in construction of the $150,000,000 Geneva Works, near Provo, which will be one of the nation's largest steel plants. Columbia Steel Company is constructing the plant. Ten barracks, each housing 100 men each, have been built, and 20 more are under construction. Restaurants and canteen facilities have a seating capacity of 1,600 at one time. Geneva Works is scheduled to begin producing pig iron by April 1943, open hearth steel in May, and structural steel and plate by June. 60 miles of track are complete at the plant site, as are foundations and many permanent installations. Water wells have been drilled and a 3 10-acre reservoir constructed to store water for the plant. (Blast Furnace & Steel Plant, Volume 30, Number 11, November 1942, page 1287)

November 1942
A second blast furnace is scheduled to go into operation at the Ironton Works as early as December. This previously inoperative furnace was shipped to Ironton from Joliet, Illinois, and is being enlarged and modernized. It was owned by Defense Plant Corporation. (Blast Furnace & Steel Plant, Volume 30, Number 11, November 1942, page 1287)

August 18, 1943
United States Steel Coproration announced that it had completed an agreement to operate the Geneva steel plant when it was completed at the end of 1943. Operation of the plant was to be in the name of Geneva Steel Company, a subsidiary of U.S.Steel. The plant was designed by U.S.Steel engineers, and was being built by Columbia Steel Company, another U.S.Steel subsidiary. (New York Times, August 19, 1943)

October 1943
Price of the Geneva Works is now quoted at $180,000,000. Apparently the cost increase was to add a third blast furnace. (Blast Furnace & Steel Plant, Volume 31, Number 10, October 1943, page 1172)

October 1943
U. S. Steel Corporation will operate the Geneva Works for the Defense Plant Corporation (an RFC subsidiary); the plant is scheduled for completion at year's end. A newly organized subsidiary of U. S. Steel, Geneva Steel Company, will operate the plant, without fee or other compensation. All costs incidental to the management and operation of the plant will be paid by DPC and all proceeds for sales of its products will be for the account of the DPC. The Works was designed by USS engineers and erected by Columbia Steel Company. Low-ranking priority for essential items have retarded completion of the works. (Blast Furnace & Steel Plant, Volume 31, Number 10, October 1943, page 1182)

October 1943
Columbia Steel has built a new 43-acre foundry at Pittsburg, at an expense of $6,000,000. The plant was paid for and owned by Defense Plant Corporation., and will provide approximately 30,000 tons of steel castings annually. Products of the plant will be used primarily by the U.S. Navy and Maritime Commission. (Blast Furnace & Steel Plant, Volume 31, Number 10, October 1943, page 1171)

December 14, 1943
Coke production began at the Geneva steel plant, as part of the steel-making process. Iron production, the first stage in steel production, was to start later in December when the first of three blast furnaces was to be started. (New York Times, December 15, 1943; Salt Lake Telegram, December 14, 1943, "Tuesday" which was December 14)

December 23, 1943
The first coke was produced at the new Geneva Steel Company's plant in Utah County. Making coke was the initial phase of operatons at the new $180 million steel plant being built near Provo. The steel plant was being built to supply ship plates for the west coast shipbuildiung industry. Construction was being done by Columbia Steel Company, the west coast subsidiary of U. S. Steel. In August 1943, Geneva Steel Company, a new subsidiary of United States Steel Corporation, contracted with the federal Defense Plant Corporation to operate the plant for the duration of the conflict without profit or fee. (Murray Eagle, December 23, 1943, "today")

January 3, 1944
Pig iron production began at the new Geneva steel mill. (Murray Eagle, January 6, 1944)

January 1944
Geneva's first coke was produced on December 14, 1943. "It was in April 1942 that the 1, 600-acre plant site was cleared of small farm buildings which dotted the area." Price of the plant is $180,000,000. The Geneva Mine was developed and is now shipping coke to Geneva's four battery (63 ovens in each battery) coke oven. One of the batteries is now in production. The capacity is now quoted at 1,200,000 tons steel ingots annually. Production of pig iron is scheduled for February 1944 and finally, the "rolling mills will begin to turn out war critical ship plates." (Blast Furnace & Steel Plant, Volume 32, Number 1, January 1944, page 65)

February 1944
"Production of steel started February 3 [1944] at the Defense Plant Corporation's $180,000,000 steel plant near Provo, Utah, with the charging of the first open hearth furnace. Steel-the first open hearth steel produced in Utah-will be tapped some fifteen hours later." Yearly capacity estimated at 1,280,000 tons. Each of the nine basic open hearth furnaces has a capacity of 225 tons of steel per heat. Two more furnaces will be brought into production at approximately weekly intervals.

Geneva Steel Company has taken over the operation of the Geneva Coal Mine, which supplies 8,500 tons of coal per day, and the limestone and dolomite quarry some 25 miles from the plant. Employment at the plant is now 1,500 with 750 more at the coal mine and quarry. (Blast Furnace & Steel Plant, Volume 32, Number 2, February 1944, page 274)

March 1945
US Steel Corporation has advised the government it is interested in discussing the purchase or lease of the Geneva Works for post-war operation, according to William A. Ross, president of Columbia steel Company. Ross stressed that Columbia Steel, contrary to some press discussion, is very interested in operating the Works after the war, and given expected post war demand on the Pacific Coast does not see the operation of Geneva as harmful to its California plants. (See article for full quotation.) (Blast Furnace & Steel Plant, Volume 33, Number 3, March 1945, page 391)

August 1945
Benjamin F. Fairless, president ofUSS Corporation, announced on August 9, 1945 that USS is no longer interested in acquiring the Geneva Works, "after a full consideration of the whole situation and the various problems which seem to be involved in attempting to establish the [plant] as a sound and successful commercial enterprise after the war," and has authorized a modernization of the Columbia Steel Company's Pittsburg plant to give it the capacity to cold roll 325,000 tons of cold reduced sheets and tin plate, and is studying the modernization of the Torrance plant. Fairless said that he would be happy to "negotiate for the purchase" of hot rolled coils from Geneva from the DPC or the plant's future operators, provided that this agreement can be reached in sufficient time. (Blast Furnace & Steel Plant, Volume 33, Number 8, August 1945, page 991)

May 23, 1946
The Defense Plant Corporation sold the Geneva steel plant to United States Steel Corporation as part of a $47.5 million sale that included iron mines and quarries, and coal mines. The sale still needed to be approved by the federal Department of Justice. The original cost to build the Geneva steel plant was reported as $191 million. Bids for the sale were opened on May 1st, with bids received from seven interested parties. The Geneva steel plant was declared surplus as part of an October 8, 1945 report to Congress titled "Disposal of Government Iron and Steel Plants and Facilities." The timeline of the sale was for United States Steel to pay $5 million when the plant was turned over, $7.5 million when the inventories were transferred, and the remaining $35 million at the end of two years, during which the plant was being converted from wartime production to peacetime production. (New York Times, May 24, 1946)

June 21, 1946
United States Steel Corporation announced that it would temporarily operate the Geneva steel plant in the name of Geneva Steel Company, a subsidiary of United States Steel. As soon as the legal details have been worked out, operation and ownership of the Geneva plant would be taken over by Columbia Steel Company, another subsidiary of United States Steel. The Geneva steel plant was sold as war surplus to United States Steel for $47,500,000. (New York Times, June 22, 1946)

Ownership changed from Columbia Steel Company, to Geneva Steel Company, in June 1946; to United States Steel Company, in December 1951; to United States Steel Corp. in January 1953. (information from Jeff Terry, via email on February 26, 2003)

The new Geneva Works steel mill six miles north of Provo was built by the government under the name of the Defense Plant Corporation, and was managed under contract by U.S. Steel. The mill was opened in 1944 and operated as a government facility until 1946, when it was offered for sale. U.S. Steel submitted the lowest bid but its purchase was challenged under anti-trust laws and it wasn't approved by the U. S. Supreme Court until 1948. Geneva Steel, Columbia Steel, and Columbia-Geneva Steel Division are simply various wholly-owned subsidiary companies of United States Steel.

Geneva Steel Company

Geneva Steel Company (1946-1952)

There were in fact six bidders for the plant, and US Steel's was deemed to be the best. Following the acquisition of Geneva, US Steel purchased Consolidated Steel which prompted the U.S. Government to file a anti-trust lawsuit. The case ended up in the Supreme Court. The court's written decision contains a good history on the purchase of Geneva. I have included it below in addition to a link to the enitre decision available on the net. The following is quoted from United States v. Columbia Steel, June 7, 1948, at

In January 1945 United States Steel considered the acquisition of the Geneva plant, but because of the speculative nature of the venture and attacks by people within and without the government, United States Steel decided not to submit a bid and notified the Defense Plant Corporation to that effect on August 8, 1945. Shortly thereafter the Surplus Property Administrator wrote to Benjamin F. Fairless, President of United States Steel, advising him that a bid by United States Steel would be welcomed. On May, 1, 1946, United States Steel submitted a bid for the Geneva plant of $47,500,000.

The terms of the bid [334 U.S. 495, 504] provided that United States Steel would spend not less than $18,000,000 of its own funds to erect additional facilities at Geneva, and $25,000,000 to erect a cold-reduction mill at Pittsburg, California, to consume 386,000 tons of hot rolled coils produced at Geneva. [Note 5] The bid estimated that a sufficient market could be found to absorb an annual production ranging from 456,000 to 600,000 tons. The bid stipulated that Geneva products would be sold with Geneva as a basing point. This would offer possibilities for a reduction in the price of rolled steel products to West Coast purchasers and their customers. The variation between 456,000 and 600,000 tons depended on the consumption of rolled steel products by users other than United States Steel's new Pittsburg plant. The bid noted that additional steel consuming manufacturing plants might be located in the West which would provide a market for additional rolled steel products. Apart from the cold-reduction mill to be erected at Pittsburg, the bid was silent as to the acquisition of fabricating facilities by United States Steel to provide a market for Geneva products.

On May 23, 1946, the War Assets Administration announced that the bid of United States Steel was accepted. An accompanying memorandum discussed in detail the six bids which had been received, and concluded that United States Steel's bid was the most advantageous. The other bids were found unacceptable for a number of reasons; either the bidder could offer no assurance of his financial responsibility or his ability to operate the plant, or the price offered was too low, or the bidder requested [334 U.S. 495, 505]  the government to lend the bidder large sums for the erection of additional facilities or to erect such facilities at government expense. [Note 6] The memorandum noted that the successful bid would 'foster the development in the West of new independent enterprise' by encouraging the location of steel-consuming manufacturing plants in the western states.

On June 17, 1946, the Attorney General advised the War Assets Administration that the proposed sale did not in his opinion constitute a violation of the antitrust laws, and the sale was consummated two days thereafter."

Note 5: Cold rolling is the name given to the process of rolling steel products at temperatures ranging from 50 degrees F. to 240 degrees F. Coils which have been produced by the hot rolling process are fed into a cold reduction mill and rolled into strip and sheets which are of much higher quality than hot rolled strip and sheets. See Camp and Francis, The Making, Shaping and Treating of Steel, 5th Ed., 1940, pp. 1227-1245."

Note 6: The bid of Colorado Fuel & Iron Corp. proposed that the government spend $47,935,000 for the erection of additional facilities, including over $25,000,000 for the erection of a sheet and tin-plate mill. The bid of Pacific-American Steel Iron Corp. proposed that the government lend the bidder $25,000,000 for the erection of a tin-plate mill. The bid of Riley Steel Co. proposed that the government lend the bidder $28,844,000 for the construction of a sheet mill, tube mill, and additions to the structural mill.

August 1946
"The effective post-war operation of the Geneva Steel Plant, recently purchased from the Government by the United States Steel Corporation, came closer to realization with the blowing in of an additional blast furnace on July 11," said Irving S. Olds, Chairman of USS. For the time being the plant will be operated by Geneva Steel, and a strenuous effort is being made to reassemble a competent operating organization. Steel making was scheduled to resume on July 22. (Blast Furnace & Steel Plant, Volume 34, Number 8, August 1946, page 1020)

March 1947
The coal used at Geneva is classified as a relatively young bituminous coal with marginal coking properties. It is hoped that as the mine progresses deeper under the overburden that the coking properties will improve. Coal, ore and limestone variations are high (different than in eastern operations where blending is successful) and cause problems. However, in 1944 it took 4,651 pounds of coal to produce a ton of iron, and a 35 percent improvement has since been effected. Note that tonnage per day is still low, only 780-765 for #1 and #3 had been blown out. #2 was apparently not running at all during this period, October-December 1946. Production is apparently about 25 percent of capacity; probably there was nothing they could use the pig for until the plant was converted to peacetime use. Waggoner, C. L. "Observations on Coke Oven and Blast Furnace Practice at the Geneva Plant." (Blast Furnace & Steel Plant, Volume 35, Number 3, March 1947, page 325-328)

April 1947
USS Corporation has authorized the expenditure of $277,500,000 in improvements, including $40 million to purchase the Geneva Plant, $65 million for DPC properties at Homestead, Duquesne and Edgar Thompson works in Pittsburgh district, and $5 million for a tube mill at Gary Indiana. Columbia Steel has spent $8.3 million to purchase Consolidated Steel Corporation, a fabricator based in San Francisco and Los Angeles, which does not make steel, only fabricates. The Department of Justice is examining the deal as a possible Sherman Act violation. (Blast Furnace & Steel Plant, Volume 35, Number 4, April 1947, page 477)

October 1948
Columbia Steel increased output by 400,000 tons when it opened its cold reduction sheet and tin plate mill at Pittsburg. This is part ofa $130 million plan for additions and improvements in the West. When Geneva is converted to peacetime output, it will deliver hot rolled coils of semi-finished steel to Pittsburg for processing into cold rolled sheets and tin plate. (Blast Furnace & Steel Plant, Volume 36, Number 10, October 1948, page 206)

January 1949
Conversion of the Geneva Works plate mill to hot rolled coil production was virtually complete by year's end 1948. Shipments of hot rolled coil to Pittsburg will begin in first quarter 1949. A rearrangement of the plate finishing end of the mill for greater efficiency will be undertaken soon. A site for another cold reduction sheet mill has been acquired in Los Angeles. (Blast Furnace & Steel Plant, Volume 37, Number 1, January 1949, page 92)

August 1950
Columbia Steel has leased the DPC foundry at Pittsburg, which has been idle except for a brief period since the end of the war. (Blast Furnace & Steel Plant, Volume 38, Number 8, August 1950, page 959)

September 1950
Columbia Steel has announced the following production increases: additional cold reduced sheet and tin plate at Pittsburg, with an annual capacity of 215,000 tons, which will be in operation by late summer 1951, adding some 800 employees. Geneva Steel has announced new facilities to produce and additional 100,000 tons hot rolled sheets annually. The combined capacity will be approximately 640,000 tons sheet and tin plate. Further expansion is still planned for Los Angeles. (Blast Furnace & Steel Plant, Volume 38, Number 9, September 1950, page 1075)

October 1950
Geneva announced a 100,000-ton production expansion of hot rolled sheets, employing an additional 50. The work is scheduled for completion by mid-summer 1951. (Blast Furnace & Steel Plant, Volume 38, Number 10, October 1950, page 1215)

Columbia-Geneva Steel Company

Columbia-Geneva Steel Company (1952-1964)

December 1951
Columbia Steel Corp. and Geneva Steel Company, both fully controlled by United States Steel, were merged to become Columbia-Geneva Steel Company.

March 1958
United States Steel Corporation completed its Wellington coal preparation plant in March 1958. The plant was located along the D&RGW mainline one and a half miles south of Wellington. The plant blended the coal from U. S. Steel's Sunnyside, Utah, and Somerset, Colorado mines to produce a better quality of coal for coking at the Geneva steel plant, by washing the coal to reduce its ash and sulphur content. The plant was built on a 1,500 acre site and processed all the coal mined in Utah and Colorado by the coal properties of Columbia-Geneva Steel Division, United States Steel Corporation.

(Read more about the Wellington Coal Wash Plant)

United States Steel, Geneva Works

United States Steel, Geneva Works (1964-1986)

U. S. Steel's iron plant at Ironton was closed in 1966.

By the mid 1980s, about 70 percent of Geneva's production was shipped to U. S. Steel's Pittsburg Works in Pittsburg, California. In early 1986, U. S. Steel sold half interest in the Pittsburg operation to Pohang Iron & Steel of South Korea. The Korean steel manufacturer was looking to the future when in 1989 quotas for raw steel imports were to be lifted. The Pittsburg plant was to receive a major portion of its raw steel as imports from Korea, rather than from the Geneva Works. (American Metal Market, April 8, 1987, via

United States Steel Corporation was reorganized on July 9, 1986 as USS, Inc., a subsidiary of its parent holding corporation, USX Corporation.

Geneva's production amounted to 1.5 million tons per year, of which 70 percent was shipped to Pittsburg. Without this business, Geneva would only be able to keep one of its three blast furnaces in operation. In recent years, due to shrinking demand, only two of the three furnaces had been operating. Employment was projected to drop from 2200 to 800.

Basic Manufacturing & Technolgies

Basic Manufacturing & Technolgies (Geneva Works) (1987-1989)

On August 1, 1986, after several years of non-productive negoiations on a national level, the unions began a national strike against USX Corporation, and its USS, Inc. steel making subsidiary. The stike included the Geneva Works and the plant was closed except for basic caretaker operations. The steel plant did not reopen when the unions and USS settled their dispute in February 1987. USS announced in April 1987 that it would close the Geneva Works permanently as of July 1, 1987. (part from American Metal Market, April 8, 1987, via

As early as February 27, 1987, USX Corporation was in negotiations with Basic Manufacturing and Technologies of Utah for the sale of the Geneva Works steel plant. USX had announced on February 4th that Geneva would be placed on permanent standby status. (Deseret News, February 27, 1987)

Geneva Works was sold to Basic Manufacturing and Technologies of Utah on August 31, 1987, with an effective date of September 1, 1987. The sale needed to take place in an expedited manner because if the coke ovens at Geneva were allowed to cool off after a permenant shut down, they would have to be completely rebuilt at a cost of millions of dollars.

After Basic Manufacturing & Technologies of Utah acquired the plant, which was to be called Geneva Steel, the company announced that production was expected to begin on September 16. In August, Basic Manufacturing began offering plate and hot-rolled sheet for delivery in October. Shipments were expected to start by mid- to late-October. (American Metal Market, September 2, 1987)

On September 18, 1987, James Belmont took a photograph of D&RGW's Tintic Local train, which included what was reported as being the first shipment of dolomite from the Keigley quarry, bound for the newly reopened Geneva steel plant.

On June 2, 1989, USX announced that it would no longer offer taconite pellets from its Minnesota Ore Operation, which was a major source of iron ore for the Geneva steel plant in Utah. The taconite pellets were to be replaced by a similar self-fluxing product, which was more expensive. Basic Manufacturing & Technology, the operator of the Geneva steel plant filed suit in U.S. District Court in August 1989, claiming a breach of contract by USX. The more expensive product included lime as a fluxing agent, which was not required by Geneva since it had its own source for limestone (dolomite) at the Keigley quarry near Santaquin. (Deseret News, August 17, 1989)

The following comes from Geneva Steel's filing of SEC Form S-3A with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC Form S-3A, dated January 1, 1994):

"Based on industry information and the Company's own estimates, Geneva believes that it sold approximately 36% and 33% of the hot-rolled sheet and plate, respectively, purchased in the eleven western states during the nine months ended September 30, 1993."

"Joseph A. Cannon, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, and Robert J. Grow, President and Chief Operating Officer, together beneficially own substantially all of the outstanding shares of the Company's Class B Common Stock and control approximately 63% of the total voting power of the Company."

In February 1990, Geneva Steel announced a modernization program that included the installation of two basic oxygen process (Q-BOP) furnaces, and a rolling and large coil project. The Q-BOP furnaces, which replaced the company's open hearth furnaces, were acquired from a steel mill in Chicago, and began production in October 1991, at a cost of approximately $77.2 million. The rolling and large coil project was completed in March 1992, at a cost of approximately $32.5 million.

From a 1994 description of Geneva Steel (SEC Form 10-K):

Geneva Steel Company owns and operates the only integrated steel mill operating west of the Mississippi River. The Company's mill manufactures hot-rolled sheet, plate and pipe products for sale primarily in the western and central United States. The steel mill is located 45 miles south of Salt Lake City, Utah on approximately 1,400 acres. The steel mill's facilities include four coke oven batteries, three blast furnaces, two Q-BOP furnaces, a continuous casting facility, a combination continuous rolling mill and various finishing facilities. The company's coke ovens produce coke from a blend of various grades of metallurgical coal. Coke is used as the principal fuel for the Company's blast furnaces, which convert iron ore into liquid iron. The liquid iron is then blended with scrap metal and metallic alloys and further refined in the Q-BOP furnaces to produce liquid steel. With the completion of the continuous casting facility and related improvements, the liquid steel is now continuously cast into slabs. The company intends to process the majority of its liquid steel through the caster facility, and in November 1994 more than 92 percent of the company's steel slabs were processed through the caster. Alternatively, liquid steel can be poured into ingot molds, with the ingots being subsequently rolled into slabs. Steel slabs are either direct rolled or allowed to cool and then reheated prior to rolling. Slabs are rolled into hot-rolled steel products (sheet, plate and pipe) in the company's rolling and finishing mills.

The company acquired the steel mill and related facilities from USX Corporation on August 31, 1987 at a price of approximately $44.1 million plus the assumption of certain liabilities. USX had operated the mill from 1944 until 1986, when it placed the mill on hot-idle status. USX retained liability for retiree life insurance, health care and pension benefits relating to employee service prior to the acquisition. USX also retained any environmental liability.

Geneva Steel Company

Geneva Steel Company (1989-2001)

Basic Manufacturing and Technologies of Utah, doing businees as Geneva Steel, changed its name to Geneva Steel Company on (1996??).

(Public documents for Utah County show Basic Manufacturing and Technologies of Utah, with dates as late as March 17, 1989.)

(At some time between May and August 1996, the company name changed from "Geneva Steel" to "Geneva Steel Company." This could possibly when the name change was made from Basic Manufacturing and Technologies of Utah, d/b/a (doing business as) Geneva Steel, to Geneva Steel Company.)

New York Stock Exchange symbol: Geneva Steel Company, GNV

August 1997
The last train to travel across Colorado's Tennessee Pass was a westbound unit train moving iron ore in the form of taconite pellets, moving from Mountain Iron, Minnesota, to Geneva Steel near Provo, Utah. The train crossed the pass on August 23rd and carried SP symbol OMIGV-19, and had two SP GE's on the lead (SP 262 and 219), with two SP GEs and an SP GP60 (SP 108, 241, and 9607) as mid-train helpers, with 94 loads, no empties, no caboose, length of 5,244 feet and loaded weight of 12,145 tons. (, March 8, 2004)

February 1, 1999
Geneva Steel Company filed a petition for relief under Chapter 11 of the Title 11 of the U.S. Code, (Case No. 99-21130 GEC) with the United States Bankruptcy Court, District of Utah, Central Division.

November 13, 2000
Several U.S. steel producers filed antidumping cases against imports of hot-rolled sheet (which includes coiled plate) from eleven countries: Argentina, China, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Netherlands, Romania, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand and Ukraine. Countervailing duty (subsidy) cases were also filed against imports from Argentina, India, Indonesia, South Africa and Thailand. The International Trade Commission made unanimous affirmative preliminary determinations of a reasonable indication of injury on December 28, 2000.

November 22, 2000
Geneva Steel Holdings, Inc., was incorporated in Delaware to take ownership of the assets of Geneva Steel Company. Geneva Steel Company was to be reorganized under a plan filed with the bankruptcy court on December 8, 2000, and its operations were reorganized such that it became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Geneva Steel Holdings.

January 3, 2001
The reorganization plan took effect for control of Geneva Steel Company by the newly incorporated Geneva Steel Holdings. (SEC Form 10-K, dated February 27, 2001)

Under the terms of the reorganization plan, Geneva Steel Company changed its state of domicile from Utah to Delaware, changed its form of organization from a corporation to a limited liability company, to be known as Geneva Steel LLC, and became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Geneva Steel Holdings Corp. Geneva Steel Company transferred certain real property not used in the steel mill operations to Williams Farm Property, LLC and its iron ore mines located in southern Utah to Iron Ore Mines, LLC, both of which are also wholly-owned subsidiaries of Geneva Steel Holdings Corp. Geneva Steel Company also transferred ownership of Vineyard Iron Company and Vineyard Management Company to Geneva Steel Holdings Corp., making those entities wholly-owned subsidiaries of Geneva Steel Holdings Corp. Under the terms of the reorganization plan approved by the Bankruptcy Court, all rights with respect to the previously outstanding common and preferred stock of Geneva Steel Company were terminated.

Also on January 3, 2001, Geneva Steel LLC entered into an agreement with Citicorp USA, Inc., which provided Geneva Steel LLC with a $110 million loan. The loan was 85 per cent guaranteed by the United States Government under the Emergency Steel Loan Guarantee Act of 1999, and secured by a first lien on the real property and equipment of Geneva Steel LLC. NASDAQ symbols: Geneva Steel Holdings Corporation, GNVHQ; Geneva Steel LLC, GNVSQ. (Geneva Steel press release, dated January 3, 2001)

(Read the first Geneva Steel SEC filing, December 30, 1996)

(Read the final Geneva Steel SEC filing, January 12, 2001)

Shut Down

November 2001
Geneva Steel, which was at one time the largest customer on the Rio Grande, has been "temporarily" idled because of the poor condition of the steel market. The remaining three coke oven batteries are being kept hot on natural gas for the time being. The single blast furnace, that has been used since being rebuilt last spring, is also being kept hot. The pipe mill is still working for another week or two to fill orders with steel that has previously been rolled. No coal or taconite pellets have been delivered in over a month. (Steve Seguine, November 30, 2001, email to D&RGW discussion group)

November 14, 2001
Geneva Steel placed its steel plant into "idle" status. Because of possible resumption of steel production, the large coke ovens were placed on "hot idle" status, at a cost of $500,000 per month, providing work for 36 employees. The closure of the steel plant was a move to conserve money, and to help pay off a $110 million loan. The loan had been negotiated on January 11, 2001 as part of the settlement of Geneva's bankruptcy on February 1, 1999. (Provo Daily Herald, January 25, 2002)

January 2002
Geneva Steel filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. (Salt Lake Tribune, October 24, 2002)

January 25, 2002
Geneva Steel placed its pipe mill on "idle" status. The move was the result the company's failure to meet the deadline of January 11, 2002 for Geneva to re-pay the $110 million loan that had brought it out of its 1999 bankruptcy. (Provo Daily Herald, January 25, 2002)

October 24, 2002
The following comes from the October 24, 2002 issue of the Salt Lake Tribune:

Idled workers from the Geneva Steel mill in Vineyard were reeling Wednesday after learning that their company's last likely hope -- $250 million in financing from Deutsche Bank -- has evaporated.

Geneva, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in January, was counting on the loan to fund its rebirth and restore jobs to many of the plant's 1,200 workers laid off since late last year.

Geneva wanted the Deutsche Bank loan to repay an existing $108 million debt and to finance the purchase of a new $80 million electric arc furnace, allowing the company to melt scrap steel instead of producing the metal from iron ore. Companies that operate electric arc furnaces, known as mini-mills, are among the most profitable in the steel industry.

The steel maker now faces the unsettling prospect of either finding a buyer for its Utah County plant or selling off its assets piecemeal, processes that already are under way. Geneva's current lenders -- who have allowed the mill to use the money raised from selling its existing inventory to fund its limited operations while in bankruptcy -- required the company to shop its assets as a condition for receiving the interim financing, Johnsen said.

Independent steel industry analyst Chuck Bradford in New York said Deutsche Bank's pullout did not come as a surprise.

"Geneva's electric arc furnace [plan] was an extraordinarily bad idea," Bradford said. "Utah does not have enough scrap to support even one mini-mill. Nucor Steel operates a mini-mill in Tremonton and they have to import steel scrap from the West Coast to operate."

And Deutsche Bank is not exactly known for its involvement and expertise in the metals industry, he said, "So what you had was Geneva going far afield to try and find financing."

March 2003
When the Geneva Works was built during World War II, the raw materials were obtained nearby. Coking coal came from Carbon County, and the iron ore came from Cedar City and later from Atlantic City, Wyoming. When USX closed the plant in 1986, the Horse Canyon mine was permanently closed, and the modern taconite mill and it's railroad at Atlantic City were dismantled. When Geneva Steel reopened they had to buy their iron ore in Minnesota, and coal from as far away as Virginia. After a couple of profitable years, foolish expenditures were made for unproven technologies and the company was deeply in debt. The dumping of foreign steel reached new high levels in the late 1990s, and Geneva Steel declared bankruptcy in February 1999, and then rushed to emerge from it in the fall of 2000 in order to obtain a government guaranteed loan for over $100 million dollars. With the steel market no better than it was before the bankruptcy and the economy in a tail spin, they squandered the borrowed money without making any badly needed plant improvements. Finally, with the money running out they idled the plant in the fall of 2001, too little relief was realized from the steel tariffs, and another loan was sought. A second chapter 11 bankruptcy was filed, but without any lenders willing to risk their money on the old plant, the creditors took over and began selling everything possible. Geneva Steel may have been successful if the source of materials hadn't been so far away, and if the new management had known steelmaking as well as the legal profession. (Steve Seguine, March 11, 2003)

December 31, 2003
Geneva Steel sold its major steel-making components to a Chinese steel company:

Geneva Steel LLC, a Vineyard, UT-based integrated steel producer has completed negotiations with Qindago Iron & Steel Group Company Ltd., Shandong province, China, whereby Qindago would buy most of Geneva's mill production equipment which it would transport overseas to its operations southeast of Beijing on the Yellow Sea.

Geneva's major lines included in the proposed sale include its 235-ton Q-BOP, or bottom-blown oxygen steelmaking furnace; its 126-in. slab caster; a 132-in. steel plate and strip mill; and the 132-in. plate finishing lines. The variable-width caster, which can also be used as a dual-cast, two-strand caster of up to 68.5 inches each, is considered Geneva's greatest asset.

Geneva Steel filed for bankruptcy in February 1999 after defaulting on a $9 million bond payment. In mid-2000, the Emergency Steel Loan Guarantee Board extended an offer of guarantee to Citicorp USA, Geneva's administrative agent, in connection with a proposed $110 million term loan to help finance the plan of reorganization the company had been developing. In November 2000, the US Bankruptcy Court for the District of Utah confirmed Geneva's Plan of Reorganization. Geneva emerged from Chapter 11 in January 2001, only to file for Chapter 11 protection again on January 28, 2002.

Qindago Steel produces long products and tubulars, including wire rod, deformed bar, round bar, seamless tube, cold-rolled ribbed steel, welded mesh, cold drawn pipe, strapping, welded pipe and nails. The company's annual capacity is 1.2 million metric tons of raw steel and 1.15 million metric tons of finished steel. (Skillings Mining Review, December 31, 2003)

December 31, 2003
"Geneva Gets Chinese Offer -- Less than 10 cents on the dollar. That's what a Chinese company is offering to pay for bankrupt Geneva Steel's equipment. According to court documents, Qingdao Iron and Steel Group Company said it is willing to buy the defunct company's assets for $35.3 million in cash -- nearly $5 million less than what Joseph Cannon and a group of investors purchased the plant for from U.S. Steel in 1987. The offer is less than 10 percent of the more than $400 million the Vineyard-based company poured into a modernization campaign to upgrade its facilities during the 1990s. And the sale, if approved by the bankruptcy court, will cover about one-third of the roughly $108 million still owed to Geneva's secured creditors, namely the U.S. government and CitiCorp." (Deseret Morning News, December 31, 2003)

The sale was completed in February-March 2004 and dismantling began in 2004.

July 10, 2004
"A news release at included a summary of the sale and repositioning of the former Geneva assets to China, as an earlier response mentioned. Qingdao Iron and Steel has contracted with TetraTech, a relocation company, to move most of the steel production assets to Qingdao, China, to provide for additional production capacity for that company. What exactly was or wasn't being moved, the release did not say. For sure, the rolling mills are heading out, as these were heavily upgraded in the 90's for lots and lots of cash. Very likely, the continuous caster and BOF steel furnace would move as well, since they are directly involved in steel production. Some smaller annealing and reheat furnaces may be involved, but I wouldn't bet on the coke ovens, blast furnaces (3), or anything else associated with iron making. The iron-making facilities were also upgraded, but not nearly as much as the steel-making side of things, besides being very unwieldy and difficult to move. The contract for the relocation was said to be $27 million, but I forget how much they paid for the actual assets, but of course the price was WAY under market value since they were purchased from a bankrupt estate. The time frame for completing the project is supposed to be two years, and I'm sure much of the equipment will be shipped out by rail." ("jgilmore," email posted to, July 10, 2004)

"The Chinese bought the LTV rolling mill on the west bank of the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland. It too is being taken apart and shipped." ("MEKoch," email posted to, July 10, 2004)

Even with the cost of dismantling and shipping, the price that was paid for the Basic Oxygen furnace at Geneva was far below what the Chinese buyers would have to pay to build their own. They didn't "steal" anything -- we sold it to them. Our short term goals of profit today, tomorrow and this week vs. their long term goals of economic domination over the next 20 to 50 years.

Demolition and Redevelopment

June 2005
Demolition of of Geneva Steel began on June 30, 2005 with an explosion that brought down most of the blast furnaces. A total of 3,000 pounds of explosives were used, but even that amount was not enough to bring down all of the tall structures. (, June 30, 2005)

November 2005
Geneva Steel's 1,750 acres of land were sold in November 2005 for $46.8 million to Anderson Geneva, a sister company to Anderson Development, which plans to reuse the land for a wide range of purposes. The land must undergo environmental cleanups before any development can occur, with most of the cost paid for by U.S. Steel. The mill equipment was to be sold for $40 million to the Chinese firm Qingdao Iron & Steel Group.

Anderson Development spent the nine years years between 2005 and 2014 cleaning the site. The biggest cleanup involved removing hundreds of thousands of tons of old concrete. Much of it is being recycled and used for roads and fill material on the site, as well as slag from the steel mill.

The work continued through early 2006, with 40 carloads being shipped in January 2006. In June 2007, the nine railroad locomotives were some of the last salvageable equipment to leave the site.

June 2014
A total of 125 acres of the former Geneva site were sold to Utah Valley University. The purchase was from Anderson Geneva Developers and adds to the 100 acres the university purchased in September 2011. The former Geneva site encompasses 1,700 acres of land set aside for re-development as a master-planned community. (Utah Business Daily, July 1, 2014)


(Read more about the locomotives, steam and diesel, used at Geneva Steel)


Research in the issues of Blast Furnace & Steel Plant magazine, completed during 1994, furnished by Mark Hemphill.