ArcelorMittal South African (AMSA) has announced plans to idle its blast furnace (BF) C at Vanderbijlpark and its electric-arc furnace (EAF) at Vereeniging.
AMSA said in a trading update on July 16 that it foresees an increased loss of at least ZAR2bn ($119mn). It attributed this forecast to the widespread impact of the pandemic and its effect on the supply chain as well as global demand. AMSA pointed out that the move was made to ensure the sustainability of future operations.
The company’s operations have already been negatively impacted by sunken demand for steel and disrupted supply due to raw material freight restrictions across the country. The South African arm of the world’s largest steelmaker believes it will be able to adequately meet the market’s demand with its current asset utilization and will review the need to restart the furnaces once demand improves.
AMSA recently proposed a tender for 100MW of solar power to reduce production costs and improve the availability of motive power. The deal is set to be closed by late August.