Forging Tomorrow: Usiminas' Blast Furnace Resurgence

Usiminas' Blast Furnace
Usiminas' Blast FurnaceImage Source: worldsteel


Usiminas, the Brazilian flats producer, unveils plans to reignite blast furnace number 3 on January 24, following a $540 million revamp. The upgraded unit boasts a heightened pig iron production capacity of 3.0 million metric tons annually, up from the original 2.7 million. Remarkably, the furnace exceeded expectations, achieving a 30% productivity gain and a 20% reduction in coke consumption. Despite this success, Usiminas faces the challenge of halting blast furnace number 1's 700,000 metric tons yearly capacity due to perceived competition from Chinese imports.


In a strategic move poised to reshape its production landscape, Brazilian flats producer Usiminas announces the imminent reactivation of its blast furnace number 3 on January 24. This comes on the heels of substantial investments, totaling an estimated $540 million, dedicated to the furnace's comprehensive revamping.

The revamped blast furnace emerges as a technological marvel, showcasing an impressive increase in pig iron production capacity. Originally designed for 2.7 million metric tons annually, the unit now stands robust with a heightened capacity of 3.0 million metric tons. This significant boost positions Usiminas to meet the evolving demands of the market and fortify its position in the steel industry.

Usiminas CFO Thiago Rodrigues sheds light on the remarkable success achieved during the furnace's upgrades. The blast furnace surpassed expectations, demonstrating a productivity gain of 30% higher than anticipated. Equally noteworthy is the furnace's efficiency enhancement, with a notable 20% reduction in coke consumption. This technological leap underscores Usiminas' commitment to operational excellence and sustainability.

However, amidst these triumphs, Usiminas faces a strategic challenge. Citing perceived competition from imported Chinese products in the domestic market, the company plans to cease operations of its blast furnace number 1. With an annual capacity of 700,000 metric tons, this decision aligns with Usiminas' strategic realignment to optimize resources and navigate market dynamics.

As blast furnace number 3 gears up for full-scale operation, Usiminas finds itself at a pivotal juncture. The success of this reactivated furnace not only propels the company into a new era of production efficiency but also shapes its response to global market forces. The delicate balance between technological advancements, market competition, and strategic decisions takes center stage in Usiminas' narrative.


Usiminas' decision to reignite blast furnace number 3 signifies a transformative phase in its production capabilities. The substantial investments and technological upgrades underscore the company's commitment to innovation and efficiency. Achieving a remarkable 30% productivity gain and a significant reduction in coke consumption positions Usiminas as a trailblazer in the steel industry. However, the strategic move to halt operations of blast furnace number 1 reflects the complex dynamics of global market competition, particularly with perceived challenges from Chinese imports. As Usiminas navigates these intricacies, the reactivated furnace becomes a symbol of resilience and adaptability in the ever-evolving steel landscape.

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