ArcelorMittal considers January restart for Spanish blast furnace

ArcelorMittal has confirmed that it has informed trade unions of the possibility of restarting its blast furnace number 2 on 9 January at the Gijon plant in northern Spain.

The furnace has been idled since beginning of November for maintenance reasons and to reduce output during the low demand cycle of the steel market. The other furnace at the site is operational.

The decision to communicate the possible restart of the furnace came as a request to the unions to cancel labour demonstrations announced earlier. Currently the company and the trade unions are negotiating a new collective bargaining deal for its Spanish units.

Following the company’s initial announcements in May this year, ArcelorMittal has reduced output at its Spanish units by over 800,000 tonnes/year due to a weakening steel market (see Kallanish passim).