US Steel (USS) brought the No. 14 blast furnace back online, after its market capitalization fell around $200mn caused by flooding at Gary Works the day before Thanksgiving. All steelmaking operations were shut down last week due to a leak substantial enough to cause flooding throughout the blast furnace and central utilities area. The resulting flood posed a high risk of damage to equipment and health risk to employees.
The steelmaker’s stock price dropped about 9pc to around $200mn, the day after the flood. The price has been recovering since then after cleanup efforts began and plans were announced to bring operations in Gary back online this week.
Gary Works can produce up to 9,200nt (8,346mt) of metal per day and has typically produced up to 45pc of the hot metal generated at USS, the largest integrated steel mill in North America.
After the water leak, service has been restored to the largest of three active blast furnaces and another furnace is currently in the process of coming back online. The third is expected to be online by the end of this week. The event was addressed quickly and customers are not expected to be adversely impacted.
The company continues to work towards restoring operations and determining full incident details through a root cause investigation and actions to prevent future events. USS will report on these action items in the coming weeks when further financial impacts may also be clearer.
Gary Works has four blast furnaces which normally run 24 hours per day, not including the No. 8 blast furnace that has been idled due to poor market conditions.
USS originally planned to have a blast furnace back online over the weekend and to have all its blast furnaces back up and running this week at Gary Works, its largest mill with 7.5mn nt a year in raw steelmaking capacity.