AMKR eyes exports from Poland’s Baltic Sea ports

ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih (AMKR) has started negotiations with the Polish government over using Poland’s Baltic Sea ports to export steel produced in Ukraine, AMKR confirms to Kallanish.

“The Polish branch of ArcelorMittal is helping AMKR in communication with the ports and the government,” AMKR chief executive Mauro Longobardo notes in an interview with Kryvyi Rih’s One TV. “We have a large volume of goods. It is necessary that foreign countries prepare for the fact that this volume will pass through them, which was not the case before.”

Another task for AMKR’s management is to develop a new logistics route for the supply of coking coal from Kazakhstan, since this raw material was hitherto transported through Russia. The Ukrainian enterprise typically received 30% of the coal needed for coke production via this route.

Fellow Ukrainian steelmaker Metinvest has meanwhile started deliveries of its coking coal to AMKR, Mauro Longobardo said in another interview with Novoye Vremya. “So far, these are trial batches, because we have not used their coal before,” he observes. “It has certain features that affect the quality of coke. Therefore, we need a new ‘recipe’, which we are developing. In return, Metinvest is ready to take an excess of coke from us because they lost the opportunity to produce their own due to the Russia-Ukraine war.”

Currently, two of AMKR’s coke batteries continue to operate at a technological minimum, while four more are hot idled, he adds. If coal supplies ramp-up and the firm wants to increase steel production, two further coke plants, No.4 and No.6, can be brought back on line.

AMKR also intends to consider launching blast furnace No.9, but not earlier than in June when it reaches 100% iron ore mining and 50-60% steelmaking capacity, he adds. “At the moment, the mining department is working at 30% capacity, and in the near future we plan to develop logistics routes to increase the export of concentrate,” Longobardo says.

AMKR restarted blast furnace No.6 on Monday after more than a month of downtime, and plans to launch blast furnace No.8 on 2 May (see Kallanish passim).

Svetoslav Abrossimov Bulgaria