ArcelorMittal tells Kallanish it has not resumed operations this week at its Acería Compacta de Bizkaia (ACB) plant in Sestao, northern Spain.
The site was halted in mid-August for maintenance, but the forecast for lower demand has prompted the steelmaker to delay the resumption of activities. There is currently no date for the restart of operations, ArcelorMittal says.
“ACB has not restarted for now due to adverse market conditions, such as low demand and sales prices, and high imports from outside the EU,” the company explains. “Energy costs are indeed important for an EAF-based steelmaking plant like Sestao, but this is not the determining factor in this case.”
ACB is one of the first plants in southern Europe that ArcelorMittal stops when it decides to reduce production rate. Temporary stoppages have been common at the plant in recent years due to relatively easy maintenance when it is shut down, as well as a simple restart procedure. ArcelorMittal is expected to continue with this policy in the short term, experts observe.
ACB produces hot rolled and pickled coil through the EAF route.
Meanwhile, ArcelorMittal expects to advance on social dialogue with workforce representatives in September aimed at agreeing a foundation for ArcelorMittal Sestao’s furure upgrade, the steelmaker explains.
Todor Kirkov Bulgaria