US Steel Kosice idles another blast furnace

US Steel Kosice has idled its 1.3mn t/yr blast furnace one in response to high energy prices, low demand and “surging” imports, the company said.

This follows the idling of blast furnace two, with capacity of 1.7mn t, at the site on 4 September. That stoppage was scheduled for 60 days, but the furnace remains off line and is now expected to restart at the beginning of next year. US Steel has crude capacity of 5mn t across its three furnaces, with only one currently running.

This means hot-rolled coil-orientated crude capacity in eastern Europe has been hugely reduced in recent months.

Both of Dunaferr’s blast furnaces in Hungary are off line, amounting to around 1.2mn t of crude capacity. Liberty Galati has idled its last running furnace at its plant in Romania, with a capacity of around 2.3mn t, while Ostrava has also idled a furnace with 1.1m t capacity. Hesteel has idled a 900,000 t/yr unit at its Smederevo plant in Serbia.

By Colin Richardson