NORTHWEST INDIANA - ArcelorMittal plans to idle a blast furnace at its Indiana Harbor West in East Chicago. A spokesperson tells our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana employees will be reassigned and there will be no layoffs as a result of the move. 

The Luxembourg-based multinational steel company follows U.S. Steel, which idled Blast Furnace No. 8 at Gary Works as well as East Chicago Tin earlier this year. 

The mill has reportedly planned to idle the furnace temporarily rather than pay to reline it and go through the costly process of the many other updates the mill needs. 

"Blast Furnace  No. 3 at ArcelorMittal Indiana Harbor has reached the end of its current campaign and requires significant capital investment for continued operation," ArcelorMittal spokesman Bill Steers told the publication. "The furnace will be taken down in a safe and orderly fashion and preserved to maintain our capacity for when customer demand merits the necessary capital investments for a new campaign."

With the furnace idling,  Indiana Harbor has two remaining blast furnaces in operation. Blast Furnace No. 7 at  ArcelorMittal Indiana Harbor East and Blast Furnace No. 4 at the Indiana Harbor West are each still fully-functional.

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