Usiminas has restarted the Blast Furnace (BF) 2 at its plant in Ipatinga, Brazil after it was shut down for an upgrade in October last year.
The Brazilian steelmaker’s pig iron production is likely to grow by 20pc compared to Q1 2021 after BF2 was recommissioned on Monday, according to Sergio Leite, president of Usiminas.
Leite observed that the resumption of BF2’s operations will help Usiminas in meeting the domestic steel demand which has grown by around 44pc in January-April compared to the same period last year.
The furnace, which was upgraded at a cost of BRL67mn ($13.26mn) can produce 55,000mt of pig iron per month or 600,000mt per year and will be operated by 40 workers, Usiminas indicated on Tuesday.
The upgrade included updating the BF’s crucible, refractories, chute, upper tank, and cooling equipment on top of the furnace, the company noted.
Moreover, Usiminas invested another BRL25mn in rebuilding the pipe system, hoods, and kiln dust removal system in BF 2.