Voestalpine restarts 2nd blast furnace in Donawitz

by David Fleschen

In response to the current level of orders in the long steel sector, voestalpine is now once again operating two blast furnaces at the site in Donawitz. One of the two furnaces, which has an annual pig iron production capacity of around 750,000 tons and underwent scheduled interim repairs during summer 2020, was restarted in order to meet the growth in demand. The Metal Engineering Division of the voestalpine Group produces high-quality steel products in Donawitz which are then processed into special rails, high-quality wire rod, and extremely high load-bearing OCTG by the Group’s Styrian subsidiaries.

The Railway Systems business unit in the voestalpine Metal Engineering Division is the global market leader for complete railway systems. Its performance has remained stable even during the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus. Now the wire and seamless tubes segments, both hit last year by the COVID-related slump in demand from the automotive and oil and gas industries, are also showing a slight improvement in capacity utilization. The current market situation is stimulating demand for prematerials in the Metal Engineering Division’s business segments, making it necessary to restart the second blast furnace in Donawitz. The two furnaces at the site in Styria have a joint annual capacity of around 1.5 million tons of pig iron. Following the restart, all five voestalpine Group blast furnaces are now in operation, including those in Linz which have a total combined annual production capacity of around five million tons of pig iron. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic and continued lockdown measures in many countries, the economic outlook for the coming months remains extremely uncertain.

Source and Photo: Voestalpine

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