In late 1996 Bethlehem Steel Corporation announced a comprehensive restructuring plan that included selling BethShip's Sparrows Point MD shipyard. The long-term outlook for unprofitable business units such as the BethShip Sparrows Point Shipyard was such that the company decided that it could no longer keep them as part of Bethlehem. The company's steel related operations segment (BethShip, BethForge and CENTEC) reported a loss from operations of $241 million in 1996, including $210 million of restructuring charges related to our decision to exit all of the businesses in this segment. These businesses continued to operate while the company tried to sell them.
The facilities of BethShip, Inc., which repaired and serviced ships and fabricated industrial products, consisted of a ship repair yard at Sparrows Point, Maryland. Facilities at the yard include a graving dock measuring 1,200 feet by 200 feet (365 meters by 61 meters) for ships up to 300,000 dwt, a floating drydock with lifting capacity of up to 40,000 tons capable of docking vessels up to 950 feet (289 meters) in length, and two full-service outfitting piers provide nearly 3,000 feet of berthing space. In October 1997 the Sparrows Point Shipyard was sold to the Veritas Capital Fund, a New York-based merchant banking and investment firm.Bethlehem Steel Corporation is the second largest steel producers in the United States, with annual revenues of $5 billion and shipments of nine million tons of steel annually. Sparrows Point has been an iron and steel plant since 1889. Bethlehem Steelís integrated facility near the end of the Patapsco River where it runs into the Chesapeake Bay is maintaining a stable steel production operation. A new $300 million cold rolling mill complex at Sparrows Point is scheduled to begin production in the fourth quarter of 1999. In 1997 Bethlehem reached a settlement with EPA addressing a range of environmental issues, iincluding air-pollution violations from 1990 to 1995, and air emissions, waste-water discharges, and solid-waste management at the 3,000-acre site.