US Steel Kosice

The restart of capacities is due to the increase in HRC prices and the recovery of demand

Slovak steel company US Steel Kosice operates all three blast furnaces, informs Argus.Media.

At the beginning of the week, the company resumed the operation of blast furnace №2 (BF-2), which was stopped for maintenance in September 2022. In January 2023, BF-1, which was stopped due to low demand for steel products and high electricity costs, was restarted after a month and a half of downtime.

US Steel Kosice restores capacity amid rising European hot-rolled coils prices. There is also an increase in demand due to replenishment of stocks by service centers. In general, the plant is equipped with three blast furnaces with a total capacity of 4.5 million tons of crude steel per year.

Also, Argus notes, that the ArcelorMittal company, which in the third and fourth quarters of 2022 was the leader in reducing supplies, is considering the possibility of restarting the blast furnace in Asturias (Spain).

In the second half of 2022, a number of European steel producers decided to temporarily stop part of their capacities in an attempt to prevent a drop in coil prices. According to Fastmarkets estimates, about 14-15 million tons of annual steel capacities in Europe have already been shut down.

As GMK Center reported earlier, ArcelorMittal in February 2022 plans to restart blast furnace A with a capacity of 4.5 million tons per year at the plant in Gijon (Spain). The blast furnace will be restarted, reducing production volumes. The decision to temporarily shut down the blast furnace was made in September 2022 due to low demand and a high level of imports from outside the EU.

Also, the Belgian flat rolled producer NLMK La Louviere resumed work of the hot rolling mill, which has been idle since the second half of December 2022. Mill rolling operations are currently limited by roll thickness.