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ArcelorMittal plans to restart its blast furnace (A) at its Gijon, Spain plant in July

ArcelorMittal, one of the largest steel producers internationally, has announced plans to restart the blast furnace (A) at its plant in Gijon, Spain.

The unit was shut down on March 22, 2023, when a fire broke out in the blast furnace during scheduled maintenance. The fire is believed to have been caused by an internal reaction when pig iron was exposed to water in the crucible furnace.

“We expect the blast furnace (A) to resume operation by the end of next week after we finish rebuilding the refractory lining,” said the factory representative.

For the past three months, specialists have been cleaning the blast furnace of the hardened iron ore; the process requires explosives to destroy solids that have settled on the furnace walls.

The ArcelorMittal plant in Gijon was equipped with a blast furnace with a total capacity of 4.7 million tonnes of pig iron per year. During the blast furnace (A) downtime, blast furnace (B) continued to operate in normal mode.

The blast furnace (A) was restarted in February 2023; the unit had been idled since the end of September 2022 due to uncertain economic prospects and unfavourable market conditions. The blast furnace was expected to operate until 2025 and then be replaced by a DRI unit as part of the decarbonisation plan, the Company announced in 2021.

Recently, the Spanish government agreed to fund a decarbonisation project for the ArcelorMittal plant in Gijon for 450 million euros. The Company plans to build a DRI plant with an annual capacity of 2.3 million tonnes, thus replacing two blast furnaces scheduled to be commissioned in 2025.

 

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