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ArcelorMittal furnace outage to start in June

Keywords: Tags  ArcelorMittal, Indiana Harbor, No. 7, blast furnace, maintenance outage, severe weather, Midwest, Great Lakes slabs

CHICAGO — ArcelorMittal USA LLC is expected to take a planned two-month maintenance outage at the No. 7 blast furnace at its Indiana Harbor complex in East Chicago, Ind., in early June, according to market sources.

The largest furnace at Indiana Harbor is slated to go down for repairs on or about June 1 and remain down for 50 to 60 days, market sources said.

A spokeswoman for ArcelorMittal on April 25 declined to confirm when or whether the outage might happen, citing a "quiet period" in advance of Luxembourg-based ArcelorMittal SA’s first-quarter earnings announcement scheduled for May 9.

ArcelorMittal had said in February that it expected to take a roughly two-month outage at the No. 7 blast furnace in May or June but it would be unlikely to affect customers because it planned to stock slabs ahead of time (, Feb. 7).

But some market sources have since expressed concern that supply-chain disruptions in the Great Lakes region (, April 17) could mean that any lost capacity could squeeze the steel market, even if the loss of that capacity was widely expected and can be made up in part by other ArcelorMittal furnaces. They also questioned whether enough slabs might still be on hand, given the severity of supply chain problems in the Midwest.

Indiana Harbor sports raw steelmaking capacity of 9.5 million tons annually, according to ArcelorMittal’s website. It makes a full range of flat products, including advanced high-strength steels and exposed automotive material.

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