September 11, 2019 / 7:23 AM / a month ago

Nippon Steel suspends furnace operations at Kimitsu plant after typhoon damage

TOKYO (Reuters) - Nippon Steel Corp said on Wednesday that one of two basic-oxygen furnaces at Kimitsu Steel Works in Chiba prefecture east of Tokyo had halted operations since Monday after a chimney that discharges gas collapsed due to a typhoon.

One of the strongest typhoons to hit eastern Japan in recent years struck just east of Tokyo on Monday, killing one woman, with record-breaking winds and stinging rain damaging buildings and disrupting transport.

“We are still investigating the damage and we don’t know how long it will take to repair the chimney and resume operations,” said a spokeswoman at Nippon Steel, Japan’s biggest steelmaker.

Blast furnaces are operating normally, but if the operational halt of the No. 1 basic-oxygen furnace lasts longer, the blast furnaces may need to cut output to adjust to a lower capacity of the steel-making process, she said.

Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Susan Fenton

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