KARACHI - The shortage of raw material Friday forced Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) to close two of its blast furnaces, The Nation learnt reliably. According to the source, the blast furnace one has been started later while the furnace number two has been put on stand by. This is because both the furnaces can not be run at the same time as the PSM faces shortage of raw material, iron ore that is used for the production of steel, he added. The raw material, iron ore, is expected to arrive from July 25 to 27. There is some delay in the arrival of raw material that has caused such a serious situation in PSM. It is to be noted that the PSM has reduced its production up to 50 % over the last few months owing to the shortage of raw material, the source elaborated. He said that the situation turned ugly when both the government and the PSM high ups did not heeded the letters from the experts of the particular department, pointing to the looming crisis. The top management has been warned several times against the declining of the iron ore stock but nothing has been come out of that. The situation clearly exhibits the sheer negligence on the part of the management that has resulted in the closure of the blast furnaces, he lamented. The source pinpointed that the rampant corruption in the PSM is deep rooted and every department has been engulfed by the menace. The only solution to the situation is a transparent and clear investigation into all the allegations, he added. The source maintained that the PSM management decided to shutdown the blast furnace for 10 days but had to took back the decision Friday noon when the experts opposed it and criticised the management for the decision. The closure of blast furnaces may reduce the average lifespan of these furnaces besides affecting their efficiency. About the working of blast furnace, the source mentioned that each furnace completes 24 tapping processes during 24 hours in normal times. Now, as the PSM is facing financial crisis, the furnaces are completing only one tapping process and the amount of iron ore required is 5,000 tonnes per day. The temperature of the blast furnace is 1900 Celsius in which iron ore, coal, coke and lime stone are heated up till it gets into molten form. This melted material is then converted into iron, he concluded.