Tata Steel (Thailand) plans to blow in its new 500,000 tonnes/year blast furnace by end-August, according to company sources. The THB 4bn ($117m) furnace is located at the company's long products plant at Chonburi Industrial Estate (Bowin), Chonburi province.
Hot metal from the furnace will provide higher productivity, lower steelmaking costs and aid output of higher-quality products. The company, which is 70%-owned by India's Tata Steel Global Holdings, plans to produce 1.1m tonnes of finished long products this year, close to last year's output, Steel Business Briefing is told.
Tata Steel (Thailand) has a rated capacity of 1.7m t/y of long steel products but the economic downturn and adverse factors have resulted in lower output.
Previously known as Millennium Steel, the steel mill has billet making capacity of 1.2m t/y and operates from the provinces of Saraburi, Chonburi, and Rayong. For this year, approximately 80% of the company's long products are to be sold domestically while the remainder is to be exported, mostly to Southeast Asia, SBB understands.
Meanwhile, Thai domestic demand of long products is expected to remain depressed this year. In May, the Iron & Steel Institute of Thailand forecast that apparent steel demand for long products will fall by 22% to 4.21m tonnes from last year's 5.389 million tonnes.
Source: Steel Business Briefing