LIBERTY Ostrava has restarted blast furnace #2 after investing CZK44mn ($2mn) on an extensive modernizing and repair program. The furnace which was first installed in 1952 can produce about 1.2mn mt of hot metal annually. 

 

The upgrades included replacement of the cooling piping, updating the furnace cooling system, and minor repair to the hot-blast stoves, charging stations, skip tracks, and dust collectors, according to a media statement from the company. The furnace is being tested and prepared to begin producing hot metal for steelmaking by the last week of August. 

 

The blast furnace was idled in mid-April as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic with plans to restart it by the end of August. The shutdown allowed the Ostrava site to minimize capacity during the steel demand slump and reduce metal inventory that was built in anticipation of the construction season.

 

LIBERTY Ostrava, the steelmaker’s Czech arm, can produce about 3.6mn mt of steel annually and employs about 6,000 people of which around 400 are employed to operate the blast furnace #2. The site also plans to begin a transition to hybrid steelmaking technology.

 

($1=CZK22.11)

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