Voestalpine restarts second blast furnace at Donawitz

In response to the current level of orders in the long steel segment, voestalpine has decided to again operate two blast furnaces at its site in Donawitz, Austria.

One of the two furnaces, which has an annual pig iron production capacity of around 750,000 tonnes and underwent scheduled interim repairs last summer, has now been restarted, Kallanish learns from the company.

Donawitz belongs to voestalpine’s Metal Engineering Division and is among the small number of European mills that make long products through the oxygen converter route. Its portfolio covers special rails, high-quality wire rod, and extremely high load-bearing OCTG.

The performance of the company’s Railway Systems business unit has remained stable even during the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus, voestalpine notes. Now, the wire and seamless tube segments, both hit last year by the Covid-19-related slump in demand from the automotive, and oil and gas industries, are also showing slight improvement in capacity utilisation.

The current market situation is stimulating demand for feedstock in the division’s business segments, making it necessary to restart the second blast furnace in Donawitz, voestalpine says.

The two furnaces at the site have a joint annual capacity of around 1.5 million tonnes of pig iron. Following the restart, all five of voestalpine’s blast furnaces are now in operation, including those in Linz which have a total combined annual production capacity of around 5mt of pig iron.