Gerdau confirmed this week the restart of its blast furnace 2, of the Ouro Branco plant, located in the Southeastern Brazilian state of Minas Gerais. The furnace, which has a capacity of 1.5 million mt per year, will be restarted as of July 1.
Eight of Brazil’s 15 major blast furnaces are currently idled due to the reduced demand for steel products in the domestic market, as a direct impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Considering the total production capacity of the Brazilian major blast furnaces, 34.1 million mt per year, the country is operating today at a 63 percent combined production pace, or 21.3 million mt per year.
Usiminas has two of its three blast furnaces idled at its Ipatinga plant and both its two blast furnaces idled at its Cubatao plant, while ArcelorMittal Tubarao has two of its three furnaces idled, CSN has one of its two furnaces idled, Ternium remains operating with its two furnaces, Pecem remains operating its sole blast furnace and Gerdau has been operating only one of its two furnaces at Ouro Branco.