Saturday, December 06, 2008


Blast Furnace Shutdowns

If there is one activity that is characteristic of, and essential to, industrial civilization, it’s steelmaking. And yet, around the world, steelmakers are planning blast furnace shutdowns, or have already done it. There are examples of this from Japan, the US, Sweden, India, Taiwan, and more if you want to look for them.

A blast furnace may be kept warm, which also requires that it is kept fueled, or it could be totally shut down. Startup requires considerable fuel and time because the furnace must be heated back up to operating temperature, and the iron inside that has cooled and solidified has to be melted again. With demand falling precipitously, look for more blast furnace shutdowns. And the more than are shut down, the less likely that they will all be started up again.

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