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Steelmaker ArcelorMittal to restart halted Sestao, Spain EAF this month

Highlights

ArcelorMittal sees recovering steel demand

Company also preparing to restart Gijon works blast furnace

Madrid — Arcelor Mittal will restart its halted electric arc furnace at Sestao, Spain before the end of September, the company told S&P Global Platts Sept. 14, meaning that all its Spanish units halted during the COVID-19 pandemic will be back in operation in the fourth quarter.

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If there are no incidences of COVID-19, the plant will be producing by month-end, the company said. The restart decision was taken amid signs of recovering demand and production levels will be similar to those before the start of pandemic measures enforced in March, which were around 20% of full capacity.

The plant can produce 300,000 mt/year of hot rolled coils and 160,000 mt/year of pickled and oiled coils.

The company has been gradually restarting all the units it halted in Spain and is preparing to restart its halted 2.7 million mt/year furnace A at the Gijon steelworks also by the end of September, it said, as well as resume a number of other upgrades which were postponed in 2019.

The A furnace at Gijon was taken offline in April due to the "drastic drop in demand", ArcelorMittal said.

Furnace A has around 2.7 million mt/year crude steel capacity, according to Platts' data, while the other blast furnace at the site has around 2.5 million mt/year capacity.

Other work will include the injection of coking gas into blast furnace B and supply of coking gas to the thick sheet mill and continuous rail lines and maintenance at its Sinter A plant during which it will install a emission reducing filter sleeve.

In recent months, ArcelorMittal restarted production at its 250,000 mt/year rolling mill in Lesaka which produces organic coating coils for the automotive sector and at its Sagunto rolling mills, with capacity of around 600,000 mt/year galvanized products, directed 70% at the automotive sector.

Spanish industrial data showed ongoing recovery in July, with the country's industrial production index down an adjusted 6%, up from June's 14% year on year decline, an adjusted 24% decline in May and 34% in April, according to official statistics institute INE.

The metals component was lower however, with production of iron, steel and alloy products down 12% year on year in July (down 19% year to date) and vehicle production down 9% year on year (down 31% for year to date).