Conditions on the European steel market remain weak. As a consequence one of three blast furnaces in the steelmaker U.S. Steel Košice (USSK) remains idle and some planned investments are being postponed, U.S. Steel Corporation writes in its outlook report for the fourth quarter.
“Economic indicators in the region suggest difficult market conditions are likely to continue in 2020,” the corporation writes in its press release. “Based on this assessment, one of the three blast furnaces remains idle and the company has postponed the dynamo line investment spending in 2020.” The corporation does not specify until when the investment will be postponed, while it promises to continue to be flexible and execute the investment as market conditions warrant.
Electrical steel line
In mid January 2019, USSK announced an investment of $130 million in a new non-grain oriented (NGO) electrical steel line, also called a dynamo line, in Košice. Its production capacity is projected at 100,000 tons per year. Its construction was to start mid-2019 and was targeted to be operational in the fourth quarter of 2020.
“We are building a new NGO electrical steel line at USSK in response to increasing customer demand for high quality NGO electrical steels,” said James Bruno, President U. S. Steel Kosice as cited in the USSK press release on January 16. “This investment is an important component of our long-term strategy to improve and diversify product capabilities.”
The new line was to enable production of sophisticated silicon grades of NGO electrical steels to support increased demand in vehicles and generators. It should complement USSK’s existing NGO electrical steel processing line and allow USSK to be a preferred, long-term supplier of NGO electrical steel to key global partners.