ArcelorMittal South Africa’s Vanderbijlpark works has returned to full production, weeks ahead of a planned restart due to an upsurge in steel demand. It restarted the second blast furnace on 20 December.
“The company accelerated the restart to December in response to an increase in demand for steel in South Africa and the depleted steel inventories at all stages of the steel supply chain following the Covid-19 lockdowns. Timely restart would help meet the supply of steel to the local industry in the face of the prevailing global steel shortage, with global supply lead times running into the latter part of the second quarter of 2021,” said ArcelorMittal South Africa.
ArcelorMittal South Africa Chief Executive Mr Kobus Verster said “With all three blast furnaces fully operational at our Newcastle and Vanderbijlpark plants, we expect that we will be more than able to meet the steel requirements in South Africa and neighbouring countries in the coming months.”
Nevertheless, the steelmaker said it was aware that the second surge in Covid-19 in infections in the country could have an adverse impact on its production ability, adding that production was going ahead under the required safety protocols.