ArcelorMittal is restarting blast furnace No. 2 at its Gijon plant in Spain on January 9, 2020.
The world’s largest steel producer reduced its Spanish steel output to 800,000t (725,747mt) amid flagging worldwide steel demand. However, the steelmaker notified unions that it intends to bring the furnace back online after idling it at the beginning of last month for maintenance, as well as to moderate output to levels commensurate with steel demand. The plant’s other blast furnace remains operational.
Trade unions and the company are negotiating a new collective agreement with ArcelorMittal’s Spanish units hanging in the balance. The steel producer’s decision to restart the blast furnace in January appears to be a gesture of goodwill amid labor demonstrations that were announced recently. The company asked the unions to cancel these planned demonstrations after notifying them about its decision to bring the blast furnace back online in January.