It is reported that Nippon Steel has determined the policy of closing a blast furnace at the iron and steel plant in Luzhai City, I baraki County. It has already decided to shut down three blast furnaces in Hiroshima and other counties, and the company's domestic capacity in Japan will be reduced by about 20%. Although the demand from cars is increasing, there is still excess capacity in Japan. Japan’s government pushed ahead with decarbonization and blast furnaces would emit a lot of carbon dioxide, so Nippon Steel would start cutting equipment.
Nippon Steel has 14 blast furnaces in Japan and 2 blast furnaces in Kudao area of East Japan Iron Institute. One of them will be closed within a few years. Some analysts believe that the company will also promote the integration and shutdown of rolling and other processing lines, and discuss the relocation of some employees.
The background of closing down the blast furnace is the low operation of domestic steel plants in Japan. Since the fall of 2020, car production has recovered and steel purchases are being strengthened, but the steel plant has not reached full capacity. Calculations by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) show that Japan’s crude steel capacity as of 2019 is 130 million tons, but the actual output is only 99 million tons, in the state of about 30% excess. Affected by the new crown epidemic, Japan’s crude steel production fell to 83.19 million tons in 2020.
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