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Sparrows Point blast furnace to be imploded

The new owners of the old Sparrows Point steel mill say that more than one national employer is interested in locating at the site. (Pamela Wood/Baltimore Sun)

The new owners of the Sparrows Point steel mill in Baltimore County are expected to announce Monday their plans for demolishing the mill's large blast furnace.

Officials of Sparrows Point Terminal LLC said they will announce that implosion of L Blast Furnace is expected to take place in December.

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Sparrows Point Terminal, which is backed by local investment firm Redwood Capital Investments, bought the historic steel mill property in September and has plans to redevelop it into an industrial campus that could include manufacturing, logistics and Port of Baltimore operations.

Workers with MCM Industrial Services have been demolishing many of the outdated buildings on the property and stripping steel-making equipment from others. Through September, about half of the buildings had been torn down. Demolition is expected to continue for two more years.

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Built in 1978, the L Blast Furnace is the most visible structure on the property. It is adorned with a star that had been lit every December, and former steelworkers and politicians have expressed hope the star might be preserved.

Steel was produced at Sparrows Point for more than 100 years, mostly under the ownership of Bethlehem Steel. After a series of ownership changes, the mill closed for good in 2012 when its then-owner, RG Steel, filed for bankruptcy. At the time, the mill employed 2,000 workers.

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