Nippon Steel to Halt 2 Blast Furnaces


Tokyo, Feb. 7 (Jiji Press)--Nippon Steel Corp. <5401> said Friday that it will suspend one blast furnace at its Wakayama Works in western Japan and another at Kure Works in Hiroshima Prefecture, western Japan.

The halting of the two blast furnaces is part of the company's efforts to streamline operations to increase its earnings strength amid intensified global competition.

The major Japanese steelmaker also said it plans to idle all other production facilities at Kure Works and shut down the facility by September 2023. Kure Works is owned by subsidiary Nippon Steel Nisshin Co.

In addition, Nippon Steel will speed up its plans to stop the operations of one Kokura area blast furnace of its Yawata Works in Kitakyushu in the southwestern prefecture of Fukuoka. The blast furnace is now slated to be idled in September 2020, instead of the original schedule of March 2021.

As a result of the measures, the group's crude steel production capacity will be reduced by around 10 pct, or by some 5 million tons a year.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press