Metal Industry News

U.S. Steel Idles Two Blast Furnaces

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United States Steel Corp., has idled the No. 4 blast furnace at Gary Works and Furnace A at Granite City Works in response to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. The outage has taken place immediately.

The company had originally planned to idle the No. 4 facility in April for 48 days. However, the scope of the outage has been reduced and the remainder of the outage is being delayed. The company expects the blast furance to remain idle until market conditions improve.

“As an essential part of our critical infrastructure, our employees have embraced the special responsibility to continue making the steel society needs, including the packaging for our food supply during the COVID-19 pandemic response.  To ensure a more secure future for all our stakeholders, the time has come for us to take aggressive actions to reposition the company,” said President and CEO David B. Burritt.  “U. S. Steel has been a cornerstone of manufacturing for over a century and our products are vital to national and economic security.  I am confident in the resilience of our employees, the strength of our customer relationships, and the reliability of our regional supply chain.  The actions we are announcing make us stronger and enable us to weather the current situation to emerge as a leader in sustainable steel solutions for generations to come.”

In addition to those decisions, U.S. Steel is completing the indefinite idling of the iron and steelmaking facilities at Great Lakes Works.

As previously reported, the company also plans to idle all or most of the operations at Lone Star Tubular and Lorain Tubular for an indefinite period of time. The decisions were based on weak tubular conditions, including high levels of imports and decreased demand due to the significant drop in oil prices.

The company now expects capital spending in 2020 to be approximately $750 million, $125 million less than initially projected.


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