Nippon Steel Considering Idling 2 Blast Furnaces

Economy

Tokyo, Jan. 30 (Jiji Press)--Nippon Steel Corp. <5401> is considering idling two blast furnaces at subsidiary Nippon Steel Nisshin Co.'s Kure Works in Hiroshima Prefecture, western Japan, it was learned on Thursday.

The major Japanese steelmaker is set to speed up moves to reduce its domestic production capacity as steel demand has been on the decrease amid decelerating growth of the world economy.

The two furnaces in question at the steelworks in the city of Kure produced a combined 2.73 million tons of crude steel in fiscal 2018, which ended in March last year. Nippon Steel is set to absorb the unit on April 1.

One of the two Kure blast furnaces is already scheduled to be halted in March 2024.

The parent company in December 2019 announced plans to temporarily stop operations at this furnace in mid-February 2020 and concentrate production at the other furnace at the Kure Works while the former would be kept ready to go back online when necessary. But the company is now studying the option of idling both furnaces in view of the recent supply-demand balance, informed sources said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press