ArcelorMittal has confirmed it is currently working to secure the operation one blast furnace at its Fos-sur-Mer site beyond July, Kallanish learns from a company statement.
Workers at the site organised a demonstration this week against the possible complete closure of steelmaking activity. The company responded confirming it aims to keep steelmaking operational during the coming months.
Since 23 March one of the two blast furnaces at the site has been temporary idled. Rumours have circulated that the second furnace would also be stopped during the summer, but a firm plan is not yet in place.
A direct consequence of the Covid-19 crisis has been the collapse of demand: So far in Europe, activity has only recovered by 50%. The situation is all the more difficult for the European steel industry as it is exposed to low-cost steel imports, despite ArcelorMittal’s calls for aid from the European Union to ensure fair competition, the firm comments.
“This deep and lasting crisis that we are going through is therefore causing concern, as in most companies today,” the company continues. “We assure all site employees, subcontractors, elected officials and residents of the territory of our utmost commitment to find solutions to preserve the future of the company.”
“Even if the level of orders remains low, our commercial and operational teams are working to record and produce punctual orders, and thus allow business to remain at 50%, as has been the case since March 23,” ArcelorMittal says. “We repeat that we work day after day to keep a blast furnace in operation beyond July.”