Europe demand will lift Ukrainian steel exports: Zaporizhstal

Significant changes have taken place on the world steel market due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, not least the opening up of the EU market to Zaporizhstal exports, says company general director Oleksandr Mironenko in comments confirmed to Kallanish by Metinvest.

“Before the war, European markets were blocked for the plant’s products, but since they have refused to purchase steel from Russia, there is constant demand for Ukrainian steel products,” Mironenko told Ukraine 24. “Zaporizhstal has refocused the chain of raw materials delivery and shipment of products through the western border crossings. However, there are problems at border points with the accumulation of products and, therefore, alternative ways of delivery are being considered.”

The western border crossings are not designed for the large tonnages being shipped at present. “Besides our steel exports, coal and iron ore shipments are also passing through. Therefore, it takes time to set up all these chains and transhipments, because we work on a broad-gauge railway track, while throughout Europe it is narrow,” Mironenko noted.

Another issue is that coke companies in Ukraine, and in particular Metinvest, are experiencing a shortage of sulphuric acid and intend to organise its import from the EU, Mironenko continued. According to him, Ukraine’s capacity is not enough to supply all domestic sulphuric acid coke plants. In addition, coal itself is also a scarce raw material.

“At Metinvest alone, there are three coke chemicals units that need this acid,” Zaporizhstal’s general director said. “We need to bring in this raw material in order to increase the production of coke, which allows us to produce additional volumes of pig iron. That’s why we need to increase the import of coal and sulphuric acid, to increase production of coke.”

Svetoslav Abrossimov Bulgaria