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Financial News: USIMINAS: Steelmaker Cools Blast Furnace And Restricts Out

USIMINAS: Steelmaker Cools Blast Furnace And Restricts Output, Union Says

05/28/2018 - 18:48:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Brazilian steelmaker Usiminas has cooled a blast furnace that it had reignited in April, as a trucker strike in the country left the company short of raw materials, according to Geraldo Magela Duarte, the president of a steelworkers union in Ipatinga, in Minas Gerais state. Usiminas so far has not confirmed the information.

"We heard from workers that the blast furnace had been put on hold for lack of raw materials, but the other two remain active," Duarte told Agencia CMA. Cooled blast furnaces continue burning, but not hot enough to allow steel production.

Usiminas resumed its operations with that blast furnace after a nearly three-year shutdown. The steelmaker wanted to respond to a growing domestic demand and cut its exposure to products from third parties. The reignition of the blast furnace should increase the company's daily output in Ipatinga by 2 thousand tons. Together, the firm's three blast furnaces yield 10.800 thousand tons a day.

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