ArcelorMittal postpones shutdown of Bremen blast furnace, looks to reduce output at site

Steelmaker ArcelorMittal said it has postponed the shutdown of one of the blast furnaces at its Bremen site in Germany, and is instead planning to reduce the production of both blast furnaces at the mill in a move to reduce its power costs.

“As an energy-intensive company, we are dependent on our own power supply,” Reiner Blaschek, the CEO of ArcelorMittal Germany, told S&P Global Commodity Insights.

“With the decision to keep both blast furnaces running at a low production level, we are more independent and cost-effective with our own electricity supply. This is an advantage in what is currently a very volatile and difficult market,” he added.

At the beginning of September, ArcelorMittal Germany announced it would temporarily shut down parts of its production facilities at its sites in the country due to weak demand, negative market prospects and extremely increased energy costs.

This also included the 600,000 mt/year direct reduction plant at its Hamburg long steel plant. It said at the time that short-time work had already been in place at its Bremen and Hamburg plants and would remain at its production sites in Duisburg and Eisenhuettenstadt.

The two blast furnaces at Bremen have a combined capacity of 3.8 million mt/year. The company did not disclosed by how much production would be reduced by.

European steelmakers are currently experiencing low demand and high energy costs.

Domestic prices for hot-rolled coil moved down in Europe on Sept. 30 due to low demand from both end-users and distributors. Platts, part of S&P Global, assessed HRC in Northwest Europe at Eur730/mt ex-works Ruhr Sept. 30, down Eur5/mt on the day.

On Sept. 29, ArcelorMittal idled Blast Furnace A at its 4.5 million mt/year Gijon plant in Spain, as planned at the beginning of September, together with other temporary stoppages at sites in Poland and France.

In France, ArcelorMittal stopped production at its 1.8 million mt Blast Furnace 3 in Dunkirk Sept. 19, with relining started and due to last six to seven weeks, the company said.

In Poland, ArcelorMittal previously confirmed to S&P Global that the company’s 2.2 million mt/year No. 3 blast furnace would be idled some time in the first week to 10 days of October.

— Annalisa Villa