Mittal Steel USA said Friday its L Blast Furnace at Sparrows Point, MD, facility that had been struck by lightning should be fully operational by July 21.
“We have had a recovery team working around the clock to minimize the outage, and we are now confident that we will be back to essentially full operation by July 21,” said Bill Brake, executive vice president, operations, Mittal Steel USA.
A storm on June 23 caused lightning to strike an electrical substation, causing the furnace, the second-largest in North America, to lose power for several hours. That electrical failure resulted in an emergency shutdown of the furnace, which caused it to cool and created problems with the distribution of materials within the furnace. On June 24, there was a breakout of hot metal from one of the tuyeres (hot blast nozzles), which required extensive cleanup and recommissioning of the furnace.
The L Blast Furnace is capable of producing about 270,000 tons of iron monthly and is expected to lose approximately 250,000 tons of ironmaking as a result of the incident.