USS Gary Works Furnaces Down - #14 & #4
Steel Market Update has learned the large #14 furnace at U.S. Steel Gary Works plant was brought down earlier this week for the previously announced maintenance by CEO John Surma during their 3rd Quarter conference call with analysts. The furnace, which is one of the largest in the United States with a rating of slightly more than 9,000 short tons of melt per day, is expected to be down for 90 days. The #14 furnace had an accident earlier this year and SMU has learned the furnace was producing slightly more than 50% of its rated capacity just prior to being shut down.
We have also learned the #4 furnace at Gary Works has been shut down due to an unknown problem which require repairs. We understand from our sources the #4 furnace and its rated capacity of 4,200 short tons per day will be down for approximately 40 days. (WE HAVE AN UPDATE ON THE #4 FURNACE BELOW)
We are not aware of any new furnaces coming back up to replace these two. We asked U.S. Steel to comment on their furnace situation and their response is below:
As you know and alluded to below [in our original request for comment], we typically do not provide updates on operations or maintenance outages outside of what is reported in our quarterly earnings releases. We therefore have no additional comments to make about Gary Works' #14 blast furnace or the idling of a blast furnace at Granite City Works, which were discussed in our third quarter release and call with analysts, nor do we have any comment on the status of other blast furnaces. As far as bringing idled furnaces back online, we will continue to adjust production across our operations to stay in line with customer demand.
Please stay tuned to SMU for more updates on this and other topics affecting the flat rolled steel business.
UPDATE (December 20, 2009) - We understand through sources which have been in direct contact with U.S. Steel that the Gary Works facility has begun to "blow wind" into the #4 furnace as of Friday afternoon. This is another way of saying the #4 furnace is in the process of being restarted.