Pittsburgh, USA-based United States Steel Corporation intends to permanently close its blast furnace and associated steelmaking operations, along with most of its flat-rolled finishing operations at the Fairfield Works in Fairfield, Alabama.
Mario Longhi, U. S. Steel President and CEO, said that the company had made some difficult decisions over the past year as part of its portfolio optimization programme. "We have determined that the permanent shut-down of the Fairfield Works blast furnace, steelmaking and most of the finishing operations is necessary to improve the overall efficiency and cost structure of our flat-rolled segment,” he said.
The blast furnace and associated steelmaking operations are to be idled and will be permanently closed on or after 17 November this year. The facilities that will permanently close include the blast furnace and steelmaking operations, the hot strip mill, the pickling line, cold mill, annealing facility and stretch and temper line. The slab and rounds casters, the #5 coating line and the Double G hot-dip galvanising joint venture in nearby Jackson, Mississippi. will continue to operate.
According to US Steel, the decision does not impact Fairfield Tubular Operations or the electric arc furnace (EAF) construction project.
US Steel claims that the closure proposal was initiated after careful market analysis of the company's current and long-term global operational competitiveness. Construction of the EAF at Fairfield Works in place of the facility's existing blast furnace was part of that analysis.