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Nippon Steel to restart blast furnace on car and appliance demand

Exclusive: Japanese crude steel capacity to return to 90% of pre-pandemic level

A hot steel slab heads to the rollers at Nippon Steel's Kimitsu works in 2018. (Photo by Kotaro Igarashi)

TOKYO -- Top Japanese steelmaker Nippon Steel plans to fire up an idled blast furnace again by the end of the year in response to rising orders from the domestic automobile and consumer electronics industries, Nikkei has learned.

The group looks to restart the No. 2 blast furnace at the Kimitsu works in Chiba Prefecture, across Tokyo Bay from Yokohama. The unit was idled in June because of a sudden drop in steel demand as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic.

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