The blast furnace at ArcelorMittal Bremen whose production was reduced to a minimum is now back to regular operation, Kallanish is told by a German official of the ArcelorMittal Group.
Blast furnaces in various European countries were temporarily shut down last autumn in response to low demand and purchasing activity, with most now reactivated. Most German mills, on the other hand, kept all their active blast furnaces in operation. ArcelorMittal Bremen decided to stop pig iron production at one BF but still kept it running for power generation purposes.
The fact no German blast furnaces were fully idled may have to do with the country’s high electricity costs, meaning mills tried to maintain their on-site power production with the top gas from their blast furnaces.
One unit that was stopped, however, was the direct rection plant at ArcelorMittal Hamburg, the only of its kind in Western Europe. While blast furnaces have a by-function as power generators, a DRI plant is subject to external supply of power and especially gas, which both became too costly for the mill to keep going. This unit, too, is projected to come back on stream in the first half year, “sooner than we had planned”, the spokesman says.
Christian Koehl Germany