ArcelorMittal Zenica resumes production

ArcelorMittal’s Bosnia-based Zenica long steelworks has resumed production after ten days of stoppage due to low demand provoked by the Covid-19 pandemic, the company confirms to Kallanish.

From 26 May the firm has gradually been preparing plants for putting back into operation. The blast furnace was restarted on 27 May and from Thursday the company expected the normalisation of work at all plants, except for the rolling mills which will resume at the beginning of June, the firm says.

Workers who were on a temporary layoff are returning to their jobs. “Temporary layoffs were from 19 May to 27 May, for now. I have no information yet on decisions for the future,” a Zenica representative comments.

The plant said earlier it had proposed a wage cut of between 10% and 20% for managerial positions, which account for 25% of the workforce, but the company’s unions rejected the proposal.

Operations at ArcelorMittal’s Bosnian Omarska iron ore mine remain on hold due to the crisis.

Since the beginning of the outbreak of Covid-19, the plant has taken measures to cut costs, procure protection equipment and renegotiate gas and power prices with its suppliers.

Zenica produced 800,000 tonnes of crude steel in 2019, up 14% on-year (see Kallanish passim). Several new investments are expected in the coming years at Zenica to continue improving the environmental footprint of the plant by reducing emissions.