ArcelorMittal plans to restart Dunkirk blast furnace

ArcelorMittal is expected to restart during August one of the two temporary idled blast furnaces at its site in Dunkirk, northern France, a spokesperson from the company confirms.

The spokesperson, however, declined to provide further details. ArcelorMittal temporarily idled two of Dunkirk’s three blast furnaces during March and April amid the slump in demand caused by the coronavirus emergency, Kallanish notes.

BF no.3 is expected to restart producing in August. While this indicates the market is gradually recovering, sources also note the decision could well impact the possible restart of ArcelorMittal’s other idled blast furnaces across Europe.

French trade unions welcomed the planned restart of the blast furnace and explained this is understood to be linked to a slight recovery of demand and some orders for the export markets. Another factor that played a role is the planned temporary idling of one ArcelorMittal blast furnace in Ghent, Belgium, from the beginning of September.

The hot strip mill at Dunkirk will see its planned stoppages reduced during the summer due to the partial recovery in demand.