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Brazil's Usiminas halts Ipatinga blast furnace No. 2 after incident

Posted on 28 September 2021

Brazilian steelmaker Usiminas has been forced to halt operations at the blast furnace No. 2 at its Ipatinga mill after a Sept. 24 incident, the company said Sept. 27.

The shutdown may last between 90 and 150 days, "depending of the repairing solution to be implemented," the company said in a statement.

The blast furnace in Minas Gerais state resumed operations in June after an eight-month stoppage that cost Usiminas Real 67 million ($12.5 million).

The equipment is able to produce 600,000 mt/year, of pig iron, representing about 13% of Usiminas' total capacity, the company said.

"The company expects to compensate the lower crude steel production by using its steel inventories and by purchasing slabs in the market, minimizing the impacts on meeting its commitments to customers," the steelmaker said.

Usiminas resumed operations in August at its blast furnace No. 1 and its steelworks No. 1 at Ipatinga, along with the Cubatao rolling works in Sao Paulo state, after having operated only blast furnace No. 3 at Ipatinga between April and August 2020.

The No. 3 unit has a capacity of 2.9 million mt/year, while the No.1 has a 1.4 million mt/year capacity.

Source : Platts