Dearborn, Michigan

Blast Furnace “C” Rebuild

Client / Owner

Severstal North America (now AK Steel)

Architect / Engineer





Graycor Industrial

Project Scope

Graycor Industrial completed a fast-track rebuild of Blast Furnace “C” at Severstal′s (now AK Steel) Dearborn, Michigan, plant. This complex design-build challenge required six months of preplanning to develop a unique and innovative approach to complete the construction phase within the scheduled 100-day outage.

The project also included construction and installation of a casthouse weighing approximately 1,500 tons and measuring 100 feet long by 80 feet wide by 100 feet tall. This massive casthouse was preassembled simultaneous to the furnace being constructed. After the preassembled furnace was erected in five major lifts, the casthouse was rolled into place utilizing four heavy haulers.

Working non-stop, our team – consisting of 1,300 employees at its peak – successfully completed the rebuild without incident in under 98 days. This was not just a tremendous success for Severstal and Graycor Industrial; it was also a benchmark feat for the steel construction industry as a whole.

This fast-paced, design-build project to rebuild Blast Furnace “C” and three stoves included a 97-day shutdown during which the existing blast furnace proper and associated gas cleaning system were dismantled and replaced down to the foundations. Graycor used an innovative approach that required six months of planning and coordinating work prior to the outage with the owner and more than a dozen major engineering firms, subcontractors and material suppliers, in order to complete the shutdown in under 100 days. The key to Graycor’s success was the preassembly of the furnace sections and major components prior to the outage. The structural, plate work, refractory, piping and electrical work was completed on the ground to minimize work after the pieces were erected. The furnace proper was then erected in five major lifts – ranging from 200 tons to 500 tons – utilizing the largest cranes available in North America to hoist the sections. After the furnace was situated, the casthouse (the building enclosing the bottom half of the furnace where hot metal and slag are tapped) was rolled into place utilizing four heavy haulers. The team preassembled the casthouse at the same time that the furnace sections were being built, which shaved weeks off of the schedule. On average, the outage required more than 1,000 employees and subcontractors (1,300 at peak times).

Scope of Work: Complete demolition and rebuild of the C Blast Furnace including a new gas system, a new casthouse for the second tap hole, air systems repair, a new emissions control system, and rebuild of three stoves.