AMSA to restart blast furnace


AMSA to restart blast furnace

Published Date: 2020-09-30 | Source: Stephen Gunnion | Author: Stephen Gunnion

AMSA to restart blast furnace

After idling the furnace in July, the steelmaker says demand has recovered faster than expected.

ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) says it will restart one of the blast furnaces at its Vanderbijlpark site next January due to increased demand for steel. The news sent its shares sharply higher.

In July, the steelmaker decided to idle Blast Furnace C at Vanderbijlpark and the Vereeniging Electric Arc Furnace until demand recovered. However, a recent assessment of the market showed a rise in demand resulting from construction projects in process of being completed, higher sales at retail outlets and destocking in the steel value chain prior to the lockdown. Restarting the second blast furnace at Vanderbijlpark would add around 600,000 tons of additional annual flat steel production volumes. The additional volumes were the minimum that could be added through the restart. Given current demand expectations for next year, it said exports would be required for certain of the additional volumes.

AMSA said the restart would help support the local industry as the lockdown, while necessary, had had a significant impact on the economy.

its shares closed 11% higher at 39c yesterday.

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