ArcelorMittal reduces Spanish plant output on costlier energy

ArcelorMittal tells Kallanish it is applying flexible production shifts at its Olaberría plant in the north of Spain. The facility, which is part of the steelmaker’s Gipuzkoa unit, can produce 900,000 tonnes/year of structural profiles.

On 8 March, the Olaberría plant halted production for most of the day. ArcelorMittal, however, resumed activities within less than 24 hours. According to the company, operations at the site will be carried out only when the daily electricity rate is lower.

“We are producing in the time slots in which the cost impact is less, or approximately for 1/3 of the day,” ArcelorMittal explains.

Meanwhile, the company confirms it is still evaluating the possible delay of starting operations at its Acería Compacta de Bizkaia (ACB) plant in Sestao due to the high energy costs.

“In Sestao, currently, we have steelmaking halted due to a shift cycle of six days working and four days off,” the firm observes. Full production should be resumed on 13 March, but this could be delayed depending on how energy prices develop. “We are monitoring daily the evolution of energy prices to decide if to start production at a normal rate or to postpone it,” ArcelorMittal comments.

The steelmaker halted ACB operations on 7 December to undertake one-month maintenance work and an upgrade of the second continuous casting line. In January, however, the steelmaker extended the shutdown period due to costlier energy in Spain.

Todor Kirkov Bulgaria