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Steel News November 14, 2019 10:30:42 AM

ArcelorMittal to Idle Blast Furnace No.3 at Indiana Harbor West

Paul Ploumis
ScrapMonster Author
According to company spokesperson, the blast furnace in East Chicago has reached the end of its current campaign and requires significant capital expenditure to continue operations.
ArcelorMittal to Idle Blast Furnace No.3 at Indiana Harbor West

SEATTLE (Scrap Monster): Luxembourg-headquartered ArcelorMittal announced plans to idle one of three operational blast furnaces at its Indiana Harbor West steelmaking plant in East Chicago. The company plans to idle Blast Furnace No. 3 at the plant, with a provision to restart the same upon improved demand for steel.

Meantime, the 35 workers on the furnace will be reassigned to other operations in Indiana Harbor, which essentially means that the idling would not lead to any layoff.

This is the second major blast furnace idling to take place in the region. Earlier during the year, U.S. Steel Corporation had idled Blast Furnace #8 at Gary Works, the nation's largest steel mill with an annual production capacity of 7.5 million tons and had announced planned shutdown of its East Chicago Tin facility in East Chicago, Indiana.

The Blast Furnace No.3 was earlier shut for weeks last year, following an incident that involved a large bell dropping into the furnace during a charge. Also, it has undergone months of idling in 2015, on account of planned maintenance activities.

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According to company spokesperson, the blast furnace in East Chicago has reached the end of its current campaign and requires significant capital expenditure to continue operations. The company has decided to idle the furnace rather than undertaking the major expense of relining it in order to keep it operational for a longer term. The furnace will be taken down in a safe and orderly fashion, he added.

With this, ArcelorMittal Indiana Harbor facility now has two blast furnaces in operation-Blast Furnace No.4 and Blast Furnace No.7.