ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) announced over the past week that it would restart two furnaces in response to a deficiency in domestic steel production, according to the company’s operational results on Nov 5.
On July 16, 2020, the company informed shareholders that it had decided to idle Blast Furnace (BF C) at Vanderbijlpark and the Vereeniging electric arc furnace (EAF) until local steel consumption had recovered.
Following a “reassessment” of local market fundamentals, the company has decided to restart the second blast furnace at its Vanderbijlpark site in January 2021, which will add around 600k mt of additional flat steel supply per annum.
ArcelorMittal noted that signs of steel demand are evident resulting from domestic construction projects in process of being completed, and retail outlets responding to higher demand and destocking in the steel value chain prior to lockdown.
The additional volumes are the minimum that can be added through the restart of BF C and given the current demand expectations for 2021, exports will be required for certain of the additional volumes.