U.S. Steel will idle furnace #8 at Gary Works due to low market demand. The furnace was restarted in late 2019 to supplement production during a scheduled maintenance outage for the #4 furnace in 2020.
The #8 furnace has been banked in order to quickly restore production should market conditions improve.
“We are not in a position to speculate about the length of the idling,” said U.S. Steel spokeswoman Meghan Cox. “There are no immediate impacts to employees, but we will continue to evaluate in line with future conditions.”
In March, U.S. Steel idled BF #4 at Gary Works and the BF A at Granite City Works. The blast furnace idles were part of aggressive actions taken by U.S. Steel to mitigate the impacts from the coronavirus and weak market conditions. Actions included delays to certain projects, idling of iron and steelmaking at Great Lakes Works, and the idling of tubular operations at Lone Star Tubular and Lorain.
According to steel analyst Philip Gibbs of KeyBank, U.S. Steel will have approximately 50 percent of its 17 million tons of flat rolled steel capacity idled with the banking of the #8 furnace at Gary Works.
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