Liberty Steel Galati puts BF5 on $3.7 million care, maintenance program

Romanian steelmaker Liberty Steel Galati has put its blast furnace No. 5 on a Leu18.3 million ($3.7 million) care and maintenance program until the start of 2023, it has reported.

The program is due to improve the safety, stability, reliability and energy usage performance of the furnace, the company said late Dec. 5.

Work under the program would include replacing the wear plates and two of the bell-less top, or BLT, gears, unblocking the skip pit and the BF scrubber, and cleaning the BF shaft and top platforms.

“The timing of the program, with steel demand across Europe impacted by macro-economic issues, will allow Galati to make the improvements to its production processes without impacting customer delivery,” Liberty Galati said.

Throughout the program, Liberty Galati said its rolling mills would remain in full production and it would continue to serve its customers as normal, while reviewing its pricing strategy to ensure its sales maintain an “effective contribution.”

Romania’s largest integrated works, Liberty Galati produced 2.35 million mt of crude steel in 2021. Its hot strip mill produced 1.62 million mt of hot rolled coil products, while the galvanizing line produced 222,000 mt and the coating line 88,000 mt.

The works, which also produces heavy plates and longitudinally submerged arc welded steel pipes, was acquired by Liberty Steel Group, part of the GFG Alliance, in 2019.

In July, Galati launched a tender process for the supply of hybrid electric arc furnace technology to its steelworks as it aims to transform its operations to produce green steel.

The transformation plan for Liberty Galati will see new hybrid EAFs replace older, more polluting blast furnace production at the works by 2025.

Platts, part of S&P Global Commodity Insights, assessed domestic HRC prices in Northern Europe at Eur615/mt ex-works Ruhr Dec. 6, down 33.3% since the start of 2022.

— Jacqueline Holman