Feedstock sourcing issues hit Liberty Liege, Dudelange production

Concerns have grown in recent weeks over the situation at Liberty Steel’s coil rolling mills in Liege and Dudelange, in Belgium and Luxembourg respectively. The company confirms to Kallanish that the units are not working at full capacity due to the situation created by the collapse of major lender Greensill.

Trade union sources say the rolling mills are operating below their full capacity due to feedstock delays. In Belgium, for example, sources reported operations at 40% of capacity, while in Luxembourg unions note that visibility is very short as deliveries are agreed weekly. This is happening while demand for coils remains strong in Europe, while shortages of material persist.

“Liberty Liege Dudelange has faced some issues with its main supplier of HRC which has impacted its ability to operate at full capacity, even though the market is strong,” a Liberty Steel spokesperson says. “The business is undertaking significant self-help measures to reduce stocks, matching stock to costumer orders and working with costumers to achieve terms that will bring cash earlier.”

The business is also working to identify a sustainable solution and, when necessary, making use of public-funded temporary unemployment schemes. According to local press in Liege, Liberty Steel has also asked local authorities to look into finding a partner or investor for the mill.

Liberty Steel has four galv lines in Belgium and Luxembourg, with a combined capacity of some 1.5 million tonnes/year. Other lines include two electro-galvanising lines and a line for packaging material.

Emanuele Norsa Italy