Hopes surface for Magona restart

Liberty Steel’s Italian re-rolling plant, Magona in Piombino, is expected to resume some activity by the end of July if the steelmaking group’s restructuring plan is successful.

Liberty plans to merge its Liège-Dudelange and Magona coil processing plants into the Liberty Galati organisation (see Kallanish 29 June). The Romanian steelworks will become their primary hot rolled coil provider, to ensure sustainable feedstock supply.

The idea of creating “a downstream cluster” stems from the strong demand, high margins and full order books that Liberty is registering at all its coil processing units, sources in Italy say. The steelmaker is trying to repay the outstanding debt that Liege has with ArcelorMittal Fos-sur-Mer, so that the latter can resume supplying HRC to its re-rolling plants, including Magona.

The last operational line at Magona, coating line no. 2, will be idled on 30 June as the plant has consumed its entire HRC stocks. Reduced supply from Magona has worsened the hot-dipped galvanised coil shortage in Italy, with prices reaching €1,400/tonne ($1,666) base ex-works for small tonnages and prompt delivery, Kallanish notes.

Meanwhile, Liberty Galati is registering strong financial results and has raised its 2021 production target after it achieved in Q1 its best quarterly performance since 2008. Revenue in Q1 was RON 1.77 billion ($428 million) and Ebitda was RON 256m. In full-year 2020 revenue and Ebitda were RON 4.7 billion and RON 187m respectively (see separate article).

Magona has a capacity of 600,000 tonnes/year. It counts one pickling line, two rolling mills, two galvanising lines and one coating line. One other galvanising line was idled in 2010.

Natalia Capra France