In early September, the voestalpine Group will restart its small blast furnace in Linz, Austria, which has been temporarily shut down since March this year following an abrupt slump in customer demand caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19).
The Steel Division of the voestalpine Group produces high-quality steel products in Linz for all premium automotive manufacturers and their suppliers, as well as for the European white goods, mechanical engineering and energy industries.
The company explained that a gradual revival of demand, which is said to have been most pronounced in the automotive, electrical, and processing industries, has led to an increased need for high-quality steel grades. The first signs of recovery are also reportedly evident in the mechanical engineering and energy segments, for which the Linz site also produces steel products.
The Linz small blast furnace, combined with the two other blast furnaces at the site, has an annual pig iron production capacity of around five million tons, and its restart is expected to bring steel production to nearly normal levels. Another two blast furnaces are located in Donawitz; one of these is scheduled for interim repairs until October, and will only be restarted when customer demand requires.
The group explained that the economic growth and extent of the recovery it is seeing varies according to region and market segment. Its railway systems and high bay warehousing technology sectors are said to be performing well, while in contrast the aerospace and oil & natural gas industries have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic.
In the business year 2019/20, voestalpine Group generated revenue of €12.7 billion, with an operating result of €1.2 billion, and employed about 49,000 worldwide.