Floods hit German long products supply chain

The devastation caused by heavy rains along the eastern Ruhr are mainly impairing the supply chain of coil products typical for the region, with thyssenkrupp and at least two Hagen-based cold-rollers declaring force majeure.

Hagen is also home to one primary steelworks of special bar qualities maker Deutsche Edelstahlwerke (DEW). The site “was massively hit by the heavy weather, and was completely under water,” DEW tells Kallanish upon request.

On Friday, the company was still busy clearing water from large parts of the works and was taking stock of the production facilities that were accessible. “We plan to resume operation at least for some sections as soon as possible,” a spokeswoman says.

DEW’s works in nearby Witten was stopped temporarily on 15 July, but could resume production immediately after the rain. The plants in Siegen and Krefeld were able to continue operation. Still, all plants are affected by impairments in transport, the spokeswoman notes.

Also in Hagen, a plant of Georgsmarienhütte Gruppe, whose products address similar customers as DEW, was hit particularly hard by the rains that day. Schmiedag, a forge making parts for big engines, trains and special vehicles, was flooded completely; 17 employees fled to the roof and were rescued by the fire department only hours later.

A long products mill of ArcelorMittal in Duisburg did not suffer immediate damage, but faces complications with logistics, like all other works in the region do. While the company did not give details, it could mean considerable reduction in output, as raw materials like scrap cannot be transported as normal to the mills. This was the case further down the Rhine at rebar mill Badische Stahlwerke (see Kallanish 23 July).

Christian Koehl Germany