Steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) told its shareholders that it had experienced unforeseen delays in restarting the blast furnace at its Newcastle Works, Kwa-Zulu Natal. The furnace reline was completed at the end of October.
In August, AMSA said the reline project had hit snags and that the reline, which had initially been scheduled for completion in September, would be delayed until October. That delay had been estimated to add $20m to the overall project cost, which rose to $100m.
But AMSA assured that, “Management is confident that the contingency plans in place will ensure delivery to most customers throughout December. The December shutdown period is expected to ease the pressure on the plants and customer orders for the new year will not be impacted.”
The reline of the blast furnace was expected to improve efficiencies at the plant, increasing steel production at Newcastle Works to 1.9-million tonnes a year, compared with the previous 1.7-million tonnes a year.
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