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Mixed fortunes for ArcelorMittal

The re-opening of economies this summer after the initial Covid-19 shutdowns has had profound effects on all sectors. It’s been no different for blast furnace operators, including ArcelorMittal.

The world’s largest steel producer decided not to restart its No 1 blast furnace at its plant Fos-sur-Mer in France in mid-September as originally planned with a spokesperson saying no firm date for re-launch had been set. No 1 was shut down in March because of the slump in demand.

On 1 September the company said it was also preparing to restart a blast furnace at Asturias in Spain while another furnace, at the Dunkirk flat steel plant in France, has already re-started.

But its Polish division has denied claims from trade unionists that it was abandoning plans to relight blast furnaces in its Krakow plant, saying that operations will be resumed ‘when it is economically viable’.

Meanwhile, a new EAF facility is being planned at AM/NS Calvert, Alabama, US, a 50/50 joint venture between ArcelorMittal and Nippon Steel. Once completed the facility will be capable of producing 1.5 million tonnes of steel slabs for the hot strip mill and a broad spectrum of steel grades required for end user markets.

Construction is expected to take 24 months. Chairman and ceo Lakshmi Mittal said ‘It aligns with our ambition of producing smarter steels for a better world.’

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