voestalpine is restarting its small Linz blast furnace in early September after the unit was idled in March because of weak steel demand resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company stated that the additional capacity is being reinstated as a result of revived demand in the automotive, electrical, mechanical engineering, and energy industries.
The voestalpine Steel Division operates two small blast furnaces at Linz alongside a larger one, and together the facility has an annual capacity of 5mn mt of pig iron production. The annual capacity of the small blast furnace is estimated at approximately 1mn mt.
Two additional blast furnaces are located in Donawitz, Austria, one of which was shut down in June for repairs and won’t be restarted until at least October, or when customer demand increases. The Donawitz site has an annual pig iron production capacity of 1.5mn mt.
voestalpine recently announced that, in cooperation with the Rail Cargo Group in Austria, it has developed freight cars equipped with a range of lightweight modular substructures with undercarriage weight 20pc below conventional models. The lighter railcar can support an additional 4t (3.6mt) per freight car.
Logserv, a subsidiary of voestalpine, is using the freight cars to transport iron ore with the goal of reducing the number of train trips to achieve the same volume shipped annually.