ArcelorMittal Dunkirk to operate only one blast furnace

ArcelorMittal plans to operate only one of the three blast furnaces at its Dunkirk mill going forward, sources tell Kallanish. This comes after the group announced last week its intention to reduce crude steel output at a number of its integrated plants across Europe, including Spain and Germany, due to increasing energy costs and lack of demand.

The company temporary idled BF2 at Dunkirk during the summer. The furnace was expected to be restarted in September when BF3 would be taken down for further maintenance. Sources are now indicating that BF2 will not restart production and the mill will operate only BF4 for the foreseeable future. Together with BF3, the company is also temporary idling a sinter line and two galvanising lines in Dunkirk.

Last week, local trade unions at Dunkirk confirmed the information in a public note. An ArcelorMittal Group spokesperson told a local press agency that the mill will now operate only BF4, which comprises more than half of the mill’s installed pig iron capacity.

The impact of the current market uncertainty is expected to also hit the group’s rolling mills located nearby, in Florange. The company is preparing to announce possible temporary layoff schemes for both sites in northern France, Kallanish learns from sources.

Emanuele Norsa Italy