ArcelorMittal Taking Down 2 Blast Furnaces & Bringing 1 Back Online
In an effort to “lower costs” an ArcelorMittal spokesperson has advised Steel Market Update of their intention to “take offline” or idle two blast furnaces at their Indiana Harbor facility. At the same time they will bring up a large blast furnace – the “D” furnace at Burns Harbor.
The AMUSA spokesperson told SMU:
“ArcelorMittal will be taking Indiana Harbor blast furnaces 5 and 6 off line and will serve market demand with lower cost capacity available by restarting ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor D furnace. This configuration will enhance our production flexibility resulting in more consistent customer satisfaction and aligns with our continuous improvement objectives.
The ArcelorMittal spokesperson also told us:
“We are not anticipating layoffs at this time and are exploring all options to maintain employment levels.”
An article in the American Metal Market reported all work has ceased on the rebuild of the #3 blast furnace at Indiana Harbor. According to SMU blast furnace data if the #3 furnace would have come back online it would have added additional raw steel capacity of 4,500 tons per day.
With #5 and #6 being brought down at the same time as the “D” furnace comes back online at Burns Harbor, AMUSA is taking down 10,000 tons of capacity while adding 7,400 tons at Burns Harbor. SMU is checking with ArcelorMittal in Hamilton (Canada) as they have been rebuilding their #3 furnace which was expected to come back online this summer. If it does this will add raw steel capacity of 2,500 tons per day. Between the two furnaces – “D” at Burns Harbor and #3 at Hamilton – they will effectively replace the two furnaces being taken down.
Our sources have advised Steel Market Update the ArcelorMittal mills are one of the beneficiaries of the loss of GM business at AK Steel. This would mean a larger amount of tonnage would need to be run on AM automotive lines – especially at Burns Harbor and potentially at Hamilton.
Steel Market Update will continue to watch developments regarding all blast furnace operations in North America. You can find more details about blast furnaces at all the North American mills on our website – www.steelmarketupdate.com – in the Steel News section of the website.