Usiminas announces investment of R$950 million in Ipatinga; works generate 600 jobs

Usiminas announces investment of R$950 million in Ipatinga; works generate 600 jobs
Usiminas announces investment of R$950 million in Ipatinga; works generate 600 jobs
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Usiminas will invest another R$950 million in Ipatinga | Photo: Usiminas/Divugação

Usiminas announced this Monday, 1/4, that it will invest R$950 million to improve the operational efficiency of battery 3 at Coke Plant 2 through a hot repair, generating 600 direct jobs at the site. The process will take place at its Ipatinga unit, in Vale do Aço, in Minas Gerais, and will last 33 months. After work for emergency recovery of the equipment between February 2022 and April 2023, the new investment comes to recover the equipment’s nominal capacity.

According to André Chaves, director of Sustainability and Institutional Relations at Usiminas, the focus of the investment is to guarantee Usiminas’ operational excellence, improving its competitiveness in the market and generating opportunities for the community where the company is located. “The project should increase our production by 12%,” he explains.

In addition to improving performance, the sustainability director at Usiminas explains that the work on battery 3 of Coke Plant 2 will generate a product with fewer imperfections, which has a positive effect from an environmental qualitative point of view, as there is a reduction in particulate emissions. The company’s goal is to reduce its carbon emissions by 15% by 2030, considering 2019 rates. “When we make a voluptuous investment, the environmental issue is taken seriously”, says Chaves.

According to him, over the last four years, the company has made several investments, especially in technology, to mitigate environmental damage from its operations, resulting in a reduction in noise emissions, water consumption and CO2 emissions. After renovation last year, with investments of R$2.7 billion, blast furnace 3 began to consume less fuel, being considered one of the most modern in the West. “AI (Artificial Intelligence) identifies small deviations so that teams can act”, he reveals.

The director explains that the ESG agenda, an approach that foresees working towards a series of objectives linked to sustainability, social issues and transparency in the management of the enterprise, is today a differentiator for companies in the market. Currently, Usiminas is the only steel company listed on the Corporate Sustainability Index (ISE) of B3, the Brazilian stock exchange.

Community impact

Usiminas’ investment also has a positive influence on the economy of Vale do Aço. The 33 months of work will generate 600 jobs. “Around 60% will be generated from the point of view of the Vale do Aço community itself, but it could increase. When renovating the blast furnace, the number ended up being higher”, explains Chaves.

He remembers that in addition to direct employment, there is a “salary mass” that is injected into the community, resulting in taxes for the municipality and consumption in commerce, guaranteeing sustainable development: “it brings a win-win”, says Chaves.

Most of these vacancies are already in the process of being filled through Usiminas’ own channels; others will be made available by companies that will provide services to the steel mill.

Repairs and production

The renovation work on battery 3 at Coke Plant 2 began in February and will continue until 2026, “as it will be a repair without stopping the production of the equipment in a model that rotates the furnaces between production and interventions”, informed the steel company.

According to the company, Coke Plant 2 currently operates only with Battery 3, since Coke Plant 1 was shut down in 2012. Coke Plant 3 had production interrupted in December 2023, a decision motivated by the possibility of affecting environmental performance by following in operation.

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The article is in Portuguese

Tags: Usiminas announces investment R950 million Ipatinga works generate jobs

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