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ArcelorMittal outage to help fuel sheet market

Keywords: Tags  steel, ArcelorMittal, furnace reline, maintenance outage, steel sheet, Mark Granakis, USW, Catherine Ngai

NEW YORK — ArcelorMittal USA LLC’s upcoming 10-week maintenance outage at its Cleveland facility, in which it is investing some $55 million, will likely fuel continued momentum in the steel sheet market.

The company has scheduled the maintenance outage, which will involve a partial reline of its C-6 furnace, to start Sept. 5, United Steelworkers union Local 979 president Mark Granakis told AMM. "The company is looking for this plant to make advanced high-strength steel. It was time for the blast furnace to get rebuilt," he said.

The partial reline of the C-6 furnace will increase its capacity by approximately 10 percent, or 500 to 600 tons per day, AMM has been told. The C-6 furnace was constructed in 1952 and the last reline was in 1989, a spokeswoman said in June (, June 19).

The steel producer had planned the reline in an effort to improve efficiency, productivity and reliability of the furnace, she said.

The mill’s other furnace—the C-5—will operate normally while the C-6 furnace is undergoing the reline. The company doesn’t "anticipate any impact on our ability to meet customer demand," a spokesman for the Chicago-based steelmaker said via e-mail Aug. 27.

The C-6 furnace can produce some 1.51 million tons per year, or 4,150 tons per day, according to the Association for Iron and Steel Technology, while the larger C-5 furnace produces 1.59 million tons per year, or some 4,350 tons per day.

While the outage itself wouldn’t necessarily mean a tightening in the steel sheet market, it contributes to other factors that could keep the market tight over the next couple of weeks.

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