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Ternium prepares to refurbish steel mill blast furnace in Brazil -sources

By Rodrigo Viga Gaier

RIO DE JANEIRO, May 24 (Reuters) - Steelmaker Ternium is set to invest around 1.3 billion reais ($269.63 million) in a major overhaul of one of the two blast furnaces in its steel mill in the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro, two sources close to the matter said on Tuesday.

The project has already started to be analyzed as the equipment's life cycle, of 2.5 million tonnes of annual capacity, is set to end in 2024. The renovation and modernization is also expected to take months to complete, the sources said.

Ternium declined to comment.

The plans come at a time when Brazilian steelmaker Usiminas , in which Ternium shares a controlling interest, is also preparing for the renovation of the largest blast furnace at its Ipatinga plant in Minas Gerais state, a task that should take 110 days to be carried out from April 2023.

Ternium's Rio de Janeiro plant, known as Companhia Siderurgica do Atlantico (CSA), has two blast furnaces, each with a capacity for 2.5 million tonnes of steel per year.

The idea is to rebuild the thermal insulation of the blast furnace and update auxiliary technology.

The sources added that Ternium is producing around 4.5 million tonnes a year at the Rio de Janeiro unit, with a good part of the output being exported. ($1 = 4.8215 reais) (Reporting by Rodrigo Viga Gaier in Rio de Janeiro Writing by Carolina Pulice Editing by Matthew Lewis)