Steel Mills

Algoma restarts steel production after unplanned outage

Written by Michael Cowden

Algoma Steel has restarted its blast furnace and resumed steelmaking at its mill in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

The Canadian flat-rolled steelmaker said on Wednesday that steel production had resumed on Sunday, Feb. 11, after repairs to the furnace were completed.

Company CEO Michael Garcia has said the furnace should return to full production this month.

Recall that the repairs were needed after an unplanned outage on Jan. 20. The outage happened when a structure that held up utilities piping for the mill’s coke plant collapsed.

Algoma suspended blast furnace operations as a precaution. When the company tried to resume iron making, it found that the problems were not confined to the coke plant and had impacted the blast furnace as well.

Algoma has two blast furnaces: the No. 7, with daily iron-making capacity of 8,400 short tons (st), and the smaller No. 6, with daily iron-making capacity of 3,000 st. Only the No. 7 is active, according to SMU’s blast furnace status table.

The company makes hot-rolled coil, cold-rolled coil, and plate. Its plate, strip mill, and cold mill were not impacted.

Recall that Algoma plans to convert from integrated steelmaking to EAF steelmaking. Construction of two new EAFs is expected to be completed by the end of this year. The issues with the blast furnace and coke battery did not impact that timeline.

Michael Cowden

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