Salzgitter Flachstahl’s major blast furnace to be offline for 100 days for reline

German steel company Salzgitter said Aug. 16 that the downtime for a major blast furnace reline at its flat rolled steel plant Salzgitter Flachstahl will last for 100 days, with the mill’s major furnace expected back online sometime in November-December.

Flachstahl in Salzgitter, Lower Saxony, already suspended unit A, one of its three BFs, earlier this month. The furnace, one of the oldest and biggest furnaces at Salzgitter Flachstahl, was commissioned in 1977 and has an annual capacity of 2 million mt/year of pig iron.

The tapping of the furnace sow — when the remaining pig iron was drained from the blast furnace — marked an initial step in the reconstruction project, in which Salzgitter is investing over Eur100 million ($110 million).

During the 100-day overhaul, the furnace’s refractory lining will be renewed and the process and control technology modernized.

Supply of primary materials to the company’s internal processing plants and to sister companies during the BF A downtime has been secured with a good stock of slabs, according to Salzgitter.

The steelmaker said it was adopting an approach of investing in its existing operations at the same time as undertaking construction for its new production process known as Salzgitter Low CO2 Steelmaking, or SALCOS. The company plans an incremental transformation to low-CO2 steel production by 2033, it said in the Aug. 16 statement.

“We are gradually abandoning the blast furnace route and have already started to install new aggregates such as the direct reduction plants and the electric arc furnaces,” Gerd Baresch, Managing Director for Technology at Salzgitter Flachstahl, said in the statement, adding that the company planned to decommission one of its blast furnaces by 2026.

Author Katya Bouckley