U. S. Steel Restarts Idled Mon Valley Works BF
The company last fall decided to keep the 1.4-million-ton furnace off-line after completing scheduled maintenance. However, the order book has since improved and demand has increased to the point that the company decided to return it to service, executives said during the steelmaker’s year-end earnings call on Friday.
For the year ending 31 December, the company reported net earnings of US$2.5 billion, or US$9.16 per diluted share, on sales of US$21.1 billion. In 2021, U. S. Steel posted net earnings of US$4.2 billion, or US$14.88 per diluted share, on sales of US$20.3 billion.
U. S. Steel president and chief executive David B. Burritt said he believes optimism is returning to the overall economic picture, as inflation is appearing to ease, the supply chain picture is improving, government-supported investment through the CHIPS Act and infrastructure bill is kicking in, and the labor markets remain strong.
“People continue to have jobs, they continue to spend and they continue to move the economy forward,” he said.
He said if there is a recession this year, he would expect it to be mild and occur in the back half of the year, with a strong recovery in 2024. But that, he said, assumes there are no shocks to the system, a risk that remains.
With the restart of the No. 3 blast furnace. U. S. Steel has six active blast furnaces. A seventh unit, the No. 8 furnace at Gary Works, remains idled.