November 2, 2012 / 5:23 AM / 6 years ago

ArcelorMittal S.Africa shuts furnaces, cuts output

A logo of ArcelorMittal steel group is seen at the Les Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyards in Saint Nazaire, western France, July 9, 2009. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - ArcelorMittal South Africa, a unit of the world’s top steelmaker, said it had shut indefinitely three electric arc furnaces at its Vanderbijlpark plant in South Africa, reducing annual output by around 1 million tonnes.

The steelmaker, Africa’s biggest, was given until October 16 to deal with emissions from the furnaces and decided it was cheaper to shut the units rather than complete a project on a dust-extraction system that would capture the emissions.

Current weak demand for steel also justified the decision to shut the units, Chief Executive Nonkululeko Nyembezi-Heita said at the company’s results presentation.

“If that proves to be insufficient we would be looking for further capacity shuts,” she said.

She added that the whole ArcelorMittal group was undergoing a similar review and any decision to shut additional capacity would be announced in the new year.

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