US Steel plans to restart blast furnace on 1 August

U.S. Steel has announced it would restart its No 8 blast furnace at its Gary Works mill in Indiana, USA on 1 August after more than three months of downtime.

Gary Works, U. S. Steel’s largest manufacturing plant, is situated on the south shore of Lake Michigan. Comprised of both steelmaking and finishing facilities, Gary Works has an annual raw steelmaking capability of 7.5 million net tons. Sheet products, strip mill plate in coils and tin products are manufactured at Gary Works.

The steelmaker says it is bringing the blast furnace online to meet growing contract demand from the automotive industry, and other demand from the appliance, packaging and construction sectors.

The No. 8 blast furnace, producing 1.2million short ton/year, was idled in April due to lower demand from the coronavirus and related automotive production stoppages.

It is the third furnace that US Steel has briought back online, following the restart of the No 6 furnace (1.36mn st/yr) at Gary Works and the June restart of the blast furnace (1.5mn st/yr) at Mon Valley near Pittsburgh.

The decision comes after US Steel rolled out a $40/st price increase for flat-rolled products on 20 July, followed by Cleveland-Cliffs’ steelmaking subsidiary AK Steel. Market participants have expressed doubt that the price increase will sustain.

The steel market continues to struggle with oversupply on the market, with AK Steel also bringing back online its 2.2mn st/yr blast furnace at Dearborn Works this week.

Combined, US Steel and AK Steel will have brought online 6.26mn st/yr of pig iron production back online.

Last week, ArcelorMittal suffered an explosion and fire last week at furnace D at its Burns Harbor works in Indiana, bringing down the 2.73mn st/yr furnace from operation.

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