Thyssenkrupp Steel will this summer reline one of its blast furnaces, the company says, officially confirming rumours that had been circulating among strip buyers.
“As part of regular maintenance measures, we will be relining blast furnace No.1 between July and September,” a spokesman tells Kallanish upon inquiry. The costs for the measure will be in the mid-two-digit million-euro range, he specifies. The furnace has been in operation with the same refractory lining since 2008.
The news comes at a time when most European steelmakers are restarting blast furnaces that had been temporarily idled, mainly as a consequence of the coronavirus crisis, but also earlier. Thyssenkrupp maintains that it kept all four blast furnaces at its Duisburg mill going all through 2020. However, nearby Hüttenwerke Krupp-Mannesmann (HKM), in which thyssenkrupp owns 50%, had stopped one of its two furnaces for around six months.
According to the spokesman, tk Steel has considered the production loss resulting from the reline in the planning of its annual output volume.
Recent blast furnace restarts in Europe have occurred at ArcelorMittal’s mills in Ghent, Belgium, and Taranto, Italy, although the former has been delayed by bad weather (see separate story). In addition, voestalpine has just restarted the second BF at Donawitz, Austria.
Of tk Steel’s four blast furnaces, two – Nos. 8 and 9 – are part of the Duisburg-Hamborn section. These two units together produce around 3.7 million tonnes/year of hot metal. Blast furnaces Nos. 1 and 2 at Duisburg-Schwelgern are roughly twice as big and together have an output of 7.7m t/y.