May 19 (Reuters) - A fire severely damaged a mill of Usiminas, Brazil's biggest producer of flat steel products, local media reported on Saturday.
The fire broke out late on Friday night at one of two furnaces at Usiminas' plant in Cubatao, 35 miles (57 km) southeast of Sao Paulo, the Estado de Sao Paulo newspaper website said. There were no reports of casualties.
Officials at Usiminas were not immediately available to comment on the extent of the damage.
But according to Estado de Sao Paulo the upper part of one of the mill's towers was destroyed by the fire.
Usiminas has been struggling with rising costs of raw materials, lack of energy and iron ore self-sufficiency as well as competition from cheaper flat steel imports over the past three years.
Italian-Argentine steelmaking group Ternium bought a controlling stake in the company last year and has promised to revamp operations at Brazil's largest maker of steel products for the automobile industry.