ArcelorMittal Dunkirk

In March, the unit suffered from a fire. Currently, the blast furnace has been cleared of the consequences of the incident by 70%

ArcelorMittal Dunkirk, the French division of Europe’s leading steelmaker ArcelorMittal, plans to restart blast furnace №4 in mid-June 2023. The unit was suspended in March 2023 due to a fire. Kallanish reports about it with the reference to company’s data.

“The plant’s specialists are progressing in the implementation of priority measures for incident analysis, repair and preparation for restarting the unit,” says a representative of ArcelorMittal Dunkirk.

The process of cleaning blast furnace №4 has been going on for the last 10 days. Currently, about 70% of the consequences of the incident have been eliminated. New wiring is being installed, and the construction of the southern hall is being repaired.

“Having adapted to work on a single blast furnace, ArcelorMittal France is implementing solutions to minimize the impact on customers, including ordering slabs from other group companies, relocating and/or redirecting orders, and maximizing inventory,” the source summarizes.

Blast furnace №4 is the largest at the Dunkirk plant. In addition to BFs №2, 3 and 4, the plant is equipped with a coke oven, two sinter plants, three converters, three CCMs and a hot rolling mill. Currently, the combine uses only one blast furnace – №3, the capacity of which is 1.5 million tons per year.

As GMK Center reported earlier, at the end of March 2023 steel plant ArcelorMittal Dunkirk was hit by a fire at blast furnace №4, which engulfed the  the roof of BF, but was quickly brought under control. As a result of the incident the unit was not damaged, but during the investigation of the causes of the incident, the combine will work with only one blast furnace.

Earlier, the company reported on plans to restore the operation of the BF №4 in Dunkirk at the end of May 2023.

At the same time, the consequences of the fire that occurred at the ArcelorMittal plant in Gijón in northern Spain are more critical. The company is currently inspecting the incident site and cleaning blast furnace A. The terms of downtime of the unit have not yet been disclosed, but the company has already approved a six-month plan of temporary layoff for about 7,000 workers of the plant and other dependent facilities. According to unofficial forecasts, the plant will not work for at least two months.

As European consumers of hot-rolled products expect, the recent incidents at two steel plants of the largest steel producer in Europe, ArcelorMittal, in France and Spain, will in the near future provoke a shortage of hot-rolled products on the EU market at the level of 1 million tons. The company has already informed customers that the delays deliveries of hot-rolled products are inevitable. The main peak of product shortage is expected in June-August 2023.

Also, ArcelorMittal Europe in 2022 reduced steel production by 13.3% y/y – to 31.9 million tons. In the fourth quarter of 2022, steel production at ArcelorMittal’s European plants decreased by 13% compared to the previous quarter and by 19.3% compared to the same period in 2021 – to 6.96 million tons.