SHANGHAI, Dec 22 (SMM) - 2021 saw concentrated blast furnace capacity upgrade programs. According to the plans issued by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology by end of 2020, the scheduled blast furnace capacity commissioning and retirement in 2021 should have been 97.53 million mt and 103.86 million mt respectively.
However, looking back into the 2021, the commissioning of new capacity was far from satisfaction due to multiple factors, including crude steel output control, capacity review, environmental protection inspections. Based on SMM review of the industry regarding capacity alterations, a total of 31 blast furnaces have been put into production with a combined capacity of 46.08 million mt, accounting for 47% of the original plan. On the other hand, a total of 56 blast furnaces were retired in the year with a total capacity of 67.74 million mt, completing 65% of the pre-set target.
Looking into 2022, there will be more blast furnaces starting commissioning or retiring as a considerable number of new capacity has been postponed to 2022 on top of the original commissioning or retiring plans in 2022. The market is likely to welcome 135.11 million mt of new capacity being put into production in the year, while a total of 110.48 million mt capacity will be phased out, according to SMM statistics. Meanwhile, such a great market alternation will inevitable bring changes to the total steel output and product structure, which SMM will keep observing.