Skip to content

Algoma Steel reboots blast furnace after piping collapse

Return to full production expected to take another two weeks
Jan. 20 collapse of utilities structure at Algoma Steel, which forced suspension of blast furnace operations

Algoma Steel Group Inc. announced this evening that it has restarted its #7 blast furnace, idled since a Jan. 20 collapse of utilities piping.

"As of today we have restarted the blast furnace and continue ramping to normal production levels," Michael Garcia, the company's chief executive officer, said in a written statement announcing third-quarter financials.

The restart is expected to be gradual, with usable hot metal produced within the next seven days, and a return to full production expected within the next two weeks.

SooToday will post additional coverage of Algoma Steel's third-quarter results later tonight.

The following is today's announcement concerning the Jan. 20 incident:

As previously disclosed, on Jan. 20, 2024, there was a collapse of a structure supporting utilities piping at the Company’s coke-making plant.

No injuries occurred during the event.

Additionally, for safety reasons, blast furnace operations were suspended at the time of the incident.

The blast furnace experienced operational challenges upon initial restart due to unforeseen impacts related to the piping collapse.

Limited production of coke resumed at three coke-production units on Jan. 23, which, when combined with inventories on hand and the availability of third-party coke supplies, is currently expected to fulfill the company's requirements for normal steelmaking production while the repair plan is developed.

All necessary repairs to the blast furnace have been completed, and the furnace is now undergoing a gradual restart process.

Additional energy will be added to the furnace as conditions permit.

Based on current information, usable hot metal is expected to be produced within the next seven days, with a return to full production anticipated within the next two weeks.

Algoma has standard insurance coverage that is intended to address circumstances such as these, including business interruption insurance.

The company is in the process of submitting claims under its insurance policies for covered losses.

[CEO Michael] Garcia commented: “Thanks to the fast response and hard work of our entire team, we were able to quickly resume limited coke-making capacity, and as of today we have restarted the blast furnace and continue ramping to normal production levels.

"The outage at the blast furnace and limited coke production are, however, collectively expected to negatively impact shipments, costs and profitability in the fiscal fourth quarter."

What's next?

If you would like to apply to become a Verified reader Verified Commenter, please fill out this form.


David Helwig

About the Author: David Helwig

David Helwig's journalism career spans seven decades beginning in the 1960s. His work has been recognized with national and international awards.
Read more