ArcelorMittal Brazil has extended the stoppage of its Tubarao’s Blast Furnace No 2 to the end of the year, from an initially expected 70-day time frame. Company CEO Flat Carbon South America Mr Benjamin Baptista on the sidelines of Instituto Aco Brasil steel congress last week said that “We are going to take a slow pace on the maintenance.” Mr Baptista did not disclose the exactly when operations will resume or the reasons behind the decision. The steelmaker had idled the 1.5 million tonnnes crude steel capacity blast furnace on June 23 due to market conditions. The maintenance stop, originally slated for mid-August, was first set to follow its original 70-day time frame, now delayed until the end of 2019.
ArcelorMittal Tubarao, located in Vitoria, produced around 7 million tonnes of crude steel in 2018, down from 7.2 million in 2017. Its plant is focused on flat steel products. Last year, the unit exported a total of 2.37 million tonnes of slab, which is close to its surplus production of slab of around 3 million tonnes per year.