Nippon Steel Corp. unit Nippon Steel Nisshin Co. Ltd. will temporarily stop production at the No. 2 blast furnace at Kure Works around mid-February 2020 in a bid to improve production efficiency and further stabilize operations.
The company said Dec. 23 it will focus on production from the No. 1 furnace.
Both blast furnaces were operating at a low utilization rate due to a fire accident at Kure Works in August.
Nippon Steel will provide technical assistance for the temporary halt and supply iron sources including slabs and hot coils to Nippon Steel Nisshin, allowing the latter to continue product supply.
A merger between Nippon Steel and Nippon Steel Nisshin is scheduled to take effect in April 2020.