This is due to the reduction of domestic demand and the growth of competition from China
On September 16, the large Japanese steel producer JFE Steel stopped blast furnace production at the Keihin plant, which is part of the East Japan Works steel complex, informs Nippon.com portal.
The company closed the last operating blast furnace at the enterprise. The move is due to a reduction in domestic demand for steel and increased competition from Chinese steel producers.
According to the executive vice president of JFE Steel Masasi Terahata, the shutdown of the blast furnace is a step toward structural reform in the Keikhin district in the east of the country and cost reduction. The vacated area is planned to be redeveloped for a hydrogen steel project to meet the growing demand for decarbonisation.
Thus, according to Kallanish, JFE Steel’s annual steelmaking capacity will drop from about 30 million tons to about 26 million tons. After the shutdown, the Keihin plant will only produce products to support the East Japan Works complex’s pipe and plate production, which are primarily for construction. Semi-finished products will be provided by the West Japan Works complex.
As GMK Center reported earlier, in September 2022 Emirates Steel Arkan (UAE) in partnership with Japanese ITOCHU and JFE Steel considered the possibility of construction a plant for the production of DRI products in Abu Dhabi. The companies signed a partnership agreement, it was planned to develop a technical and economic justification for the creation of a hub for the production of raw materials to meet the growing need for green steel.