Steel Mills

Blast Furnaces

Written by Brett Linton

Steel Market Update has been asked if the domestic steel mills have made any moves to restart idled blast furnaces in order to increase production due to dumping suits, price increases and the anticipated stronger order book. People also want to know if ArcelorMittal and US Steel are building slab inventories in order to have material available for their contract customers (especially automotive) should there be a production disruption due to the expiration of their labor agreements (September 1st – same day as the first day of our Steel Summit Conference in Atlanta).

We recently did an analysis of blast furnaces in the United States, Mexico and Canada to see what is running and what has returned to production. Essentially, both US Steel and ArcelorMittal have brought back a furnace over the past few weeks. AM brought back a blast furnace at their Cleveland Works and US Steel has/is bringing back their furnace at Fairfield Works in Alabama.

The process of finding out whether furnaces are running at any point in time can be difficult as US Steel and ArcelorMittal don’t always want to address those questions except on a quarterly basis during their conference calls with analysts. The data below is based on our recent research and there could be issues with one or two furnaces so we recommend that our readers check with your mill suppliers should you have any questions.

For those of you who do not realize this, Steel Market Update has a table in our website for our members where we attempt to keep up with the blast furnaces in North America. You must be logged into the website to access the data which looks something like this:

Blast Furnace Steel Mill Status

Mill Name / Plant Furnace I.D. Daily Capacity (Net Tons) Running? Comments
AK Steel
Ashland Amanda 6000 Yes  
Middletown No. 3 6500 Yes  
AK Dearborn C Furnace 6000 Yes  
AHMSA (Mexico)
  No. 4 2700 No Idle
No. 5 6500 Yes  
No. 6 4500 Yes  
Hamilton (Canada) No. 2 3200 Yes  
No. 3 2500 Yes  
No. 4 4700 Yes  
Burns Harbor C Furnace 7400 Yes  
D Furnace 7400 Yes  
Indiana Harbor IH-3 W 4300 Yes  
IH-4 W 4900 No  
IH-5 E 2900 No  
IH-6 E 5000 No  
IH-7 E 11500 Yes  
Cleveland C-5 4350 Yes  
C-6 4150 Yes  
Essar Steel Algoma (Canada)
  No. 7 8400 Yes  
No. 6 3000 No Possible restart in 2015
United States Steel
Edgar Thomson Works No. 1 3450 Yes  
No. 3 3100 Yes  
Fairfield No. 8 6000 Yes  
Gary Works No. 4 4200 Yes  
No. 6 3800 No Down for maintenance, will come back up depending on market conditions
No. 8 3300 Yes  
No. 14 9200 Yes  
Granite City A Furnace 3600 Yes One furnace is down to replace caster
B Furnace 3600 Yes
Great Lakes (Ecorse, MI) A-1 4100 Yes* *Only 2 of the 3 furnaces are running at any given time
B-2 3700 Yes*
D-4 4000 Yes*
Hamilton (Canada) E Furnace 5500 No Shut down October 4 2010 & removed from active status
Lake Erie (Canada) No. 1 6575 Yes  

Brett Linton

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