ArcelorMittal to restart Gijón blast furnace in February

ArcelorMittal tells Kallanish it is planning to restart blast furnace A at its Gijón mill in northern Spain next month. The equipment remains idle since late September due to the uncertain economic scenario and poor market conditions.

“We are working on the possibility of restarting BF A with a reduced production rate at the beginning of February,” according to a company spokesperson.

The decision has been highly welcomed by workers’ unions, which saw it as essential ahead of Tuesday’s meeting between Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and ArcelorMittal chairman Lakshmi Mittal at the World Economic Forum in Davos. One of the main points of the talks was on accelerating ArcelorMittal investments in Spain with the installation of a hybrid electric arc furnace at Gijón.

The project, which is a priority for the steelmaker’s CO2 emissions reduction goals in Europe, is still awaiting Spain’s €500 million ($530.93m) co-funding contribution as part of the national government’s recovery and resilience plan.

Meanwhile, the steelmaker has finished the €10m upgrade of galvanizing line No.1 at its Avilés plant. ArcelorMittal projects it could begin production of Magnelis, the firm’s product with anti-corrosion metallic coating, in the coming weeks. The plant has already been producing this at galvanizing line No.2 since 2017.

The new corrosion-resistant steel products, whose characteristic is a composition coating with a higher content of aluminium and magnesium, will be in thicknesses of 2mm and 3.5mm, sizes not produced at line No.2. This product is manly supplied to the solar energy sector for the construction of photovoltaic park infrastructure.

Todor Kirkov Bulgaria