Mittal Steel USA idling blast furnaces

May 6, 2005

Mittal Steel USA is taking steps to match its output with inventory adjustments occurring in the markets that it serves, the company says. On May 5, the company started cooling the C-6 furnace at its Cleveland plant in preparation for gunning refractory material to shore up its lining. The work is routine maintenance that had been scheduled for June. The furnace normally produces about 1,500 tons of iron daily.

The company also is idling the H-3 blast furnace on the west side of the Indiana Harbor plant in East Chicago, Ind. The furnace will return to production when business conditions demand its 2,000-ton-a-day output. The No. 6 blast furnace on that plant's east side has been idle since March.

"The underlying economy is still strong," said Louis L. Schorsch, CEO. "However, the excess inventory in the distribution sector that was built up in the last half of 2004 is still being worked down. Given that, it is appropriate that we adjust our production and use this opportunity to undertake necessary maintenance and improvements."

Employees in the affected operations will be undertaking maintenance and other activities at their plants.