United States Steel Corporation has idled the No. 8 blast furnace at its Gary Works in Indiana due to market conditions and high import levels.
A spokeswoman confirmed the idling began on Sept. 7.
“We continue to monitor market conditions and plan to bring the furnace back online when business conditions allow,” she told SMU.
No job losses are taking place as a result of the furnace’s idling, with all employees being reassigned to other areas of Gary Works, she said.
SMU’s blast furnace status table has been updated to reflect the idling.
Gary Works is US Steel’s largest steelmaking complex with an annual raw steel capacity of 7.5 million tons of hot-rolled, cold-rolled and coated sheet – including tin mill products. The No. 8 BF has a daily capacity of 3,000 tons of pig iron.
Weaker demand and increased imports were also blamed for the temporary idling of the No. 5 tin line at Gary Works earlier this month.
A month-long outage is also currently underway at the steelmaker’s No. 3 Mon Valley Works blast furnace near Pittsburgh. That planned maintenance outage—to apply shotcrete—was pulled forward from its originally-scheduled date of mid-October.
US Steel released third quarter earnings guidance this week, saying it expects Q3 EBITDA of $825 million to be down nearly 50% sequentially and down 60% from the year-ago quarter. Accelerating market headwinds, including weaker demand, lower shipments, and lower selling prices are the reasoning for the anticipated lower earnings.
Negotiations for a new labor contract between the steelmaker and the United Steelworkers union continue, with wage increases remaining a major area of contention, according to a Sept. 9 USW bargaining update.
By Laura Miller, Laura@SteelMarketUpdate.com
Laura MillerRead more from Laura Miller
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