US Steel Corp. will keep the No. 3 blast furnace at its Mon Valley Works near Pittsburgh idled until market dynamics improve, a company spokeswoman confirmed to SMU. The blast furnace was originally taken offline on Aug. 30 for a month-long planned maintenance outage. The shotcrete (sprayed concrete) reline was completed on Saturday, Sept. 24. US Steel originally confirmed to SMU back in late September that, once the reline was completed, the blast furnace would remain idle. At that time, sources familiar with the matter told SMU the idling would be for a month or so in response to declining demand and market conditions. Downtime appears to have been extended with no set timetable for a restart. No. 3 has not been idled indefinitely. But the furnace will remain down as US Steel continues “to balance our production with our order book,” the spokeswoman said. In yesterday’s price hike letter, the Pittsburgh-based steelmaker said that it was raising its base pricing for all new flat-rolled product orders given that its order book for the balance of 2022 was complete. The spokeswoman added that the “planned maintenance on BF 3 was completed and the furnace is available for use.” There are no layoffs associated with the decision to keep the furnace offline, she noted. The Mon Valley Works has two blast furnaces: No. 1 and No. 3. The No. 1 furnace has a daily ironmaking capacity of approximately 3,200 tons. The No. 3 furnace has a daily capacity of approximately 2,900 tons. The furnaces are located at US Steel’s Edgar Thomson plant in Braddock, Pa. That facility makes slabs and rails them to the company’s Irvin Plant in West Mifflin, Pa., where they are rolled into sheet. By David Schollaert, David@SteelMarketUpdate.com
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