Aug 19 (Reuters) - A blast furnace at ArcelorMittal’s Indiana Harbor plant has been shut down since Aug. 8 because of an equipment failure, the world’s biggest steelmaker said in a statement on Monday.
The company did not say how long it would take to repair the furnace, which went down when a turbo blower failed. It can take weeks or months to restart a blast furnace.
ArcelorMittal said it does not expect to have any trouble fulfilling its customers’ orders during the outage.
Indiana Harbor, on the southwestern shore of Lake Michigan, lost some 300,000 short tons of production in the second quarter because of earlier problems with its furnaces, but shipments were not much affected, the company said on a recent conference call. It drew on inventory and shipped steel from its other facilities in the Americas.
Massive excess supply is weighing on global steel prices, but several mills in the Americas have had unexpected production outages this year. A lockout that started on April 28 shut down all raw steel production at United States Steel Corp’s Lake Erie works in Canada.
Meanwhile, AK Steel Holding Corp took a blast furnace at Ohio’s Middletown Works offline in June after a mechanical failure. The outage is expected to weigh on its results in the second half.