ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) is increasing the output from its electric arc furnace (EAF) at the Vaal Meltshop to meet the rising demand for steel in the domestic market.
The company said in a statement on Jan 28 that the strengthening steel demand prompted the steelmaker to reverse its previous decision to put the EAF in Vereeniging under care and maintenance by the end of December 2020. Although the company did not disclose the total EAF production capabilities or its current output, it indicated that the furnace was operating at half its capacity through most of 2020.
Pushing the Vereeniging operations to full capacity will also increase the company’s billet production, AMSA noted. These products will be used as feedstock at AMSA’s Leeuwkuil Mill, tubular products plants, forging operations, and the small section mill in Tshwane, all of which are part of its Gauteng integrated mill operations.
Moreover, AMSA indicated that the increase in output from Vereeniging will reduce the pressure on its Newcastle integrated operations and help the latter to refocus on the long products segment.
AMSA has a consolidated capacity to produce 4.8mn mt of saleable products of which more than 60pc is consumed in the domestic market and the balance exported to other countries within the African continent.