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Company Says It Will Close Pittsburgh-Area Coke Plant

PITTSBURGH (AP) - An energy company has announced that it's closing a Pittsburgh-area coke plant within the next month.

Detroit-based DTE Energy says it will close the Neville Island plant in mid-January due to declining demand in the North American steel energy. Director of steel Ronald Burnette says they have "no options" for keeping Shenango open.

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The plant produces blast furnace coke and related products for steelmaking. It employs 173 workers.

DTE officials say affected employees will remain on payroll for 60 days after the plant closes. The company will then offer severance packages.

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The president of United Steelworkers Local 5032, which represents many Shenango workers, says they were blindsided by the decision when they were informed on Thursday.

DTE hasn't determined what it plans to do with the plant after it closes.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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