ThyssenKrupp restarts blast furnace at Brazil mill

FRANKFURT, June 28 Fri Jun 28, 2013 6:23am EDT

FRANKFURT, June 28 (Reuters) - ThyssenKrupp has restarted a blast furnace at a Brazilian mill it is trying to sell, the German steelmaker said on Friday.

Cia Siderugica do Atlantico shut one of its two blast furnaces last month, the stoppage following previous problems to do with pollution and its coking plant.

The problems have hampered ThyssenKrupp's plans to sell the mill. As a result, Brazil's Cia. Siderurgica Nacional (CSN) is to reconsider the amount it is willing to pay for ThyssenKrupp's 73 percent stake in CSA, a source said earlier this month.

The German steelmaker is selling Steel Americas, which comprises the Brazilian steel-slab plant and a slab-processing factory in Alabama.

After failing to sell the company, ThyssenKrupp wrote down the value of Steel Americas to 3.9 billion euros ($5.1 billion) in December from 7 billion euros. It took an additional writedown to 3.4 billion euros in May.

Reuters reported earlier this month that ThyssenKrupp was likely to sell Steel Americas to CSN, the only remaining bidder.

The CSA blast furnace now needs to be brought up to temperature, a ThyssenKrupp spokesman said. "We're optimistic that it will be back up to full capacity soon," he said. ThyssenKrupp put the reason for the stoppage down to "process instability", declining to elaborate further.

The stoppage cut output from the plant to less than half its capacity of 5 million tonnes a year. ($1 = 0.7691 euros) (Reporting by Tom Kaeckenhoff; Writing by Victoria Bryan. Editing by Jane Merriman)