Liberty Steel Group investigating restart of Dunaferr: union official

Liberty Steel’s specialists are investigating the restart of Hungarian integrated flat steel producer Dunaferr, a representative of the steelworks’ trade union told S&P Global Commodity Insights Jan. 27.

Liberty Steel Group is also negotiating a possible acquisition of the plant with the government and the liquidation commissioner, he said.

The UK-based company declined to comment on the matter. There have been media reports that Liberty secured a three-month contract to operate Dunaferr.

The coking plant is the only unit currently operating at Dunaferr, with no clarity as to when the rest of the plant’s shops can come back online.

The 1.6 million mt/year steelworks went into administration less than a month ago.

Liberty Steel and Metinvest have been mentioned among interested parties more often than others. According to the municipality of Dunaujvaros, the industrial town where the mill is located, Metinvest has also actively promoted itself as a bidder, having forwarded a letter in December to Hungarian Prime Minister offering to provide all the necessary resources and raw materials to operate Dunaferr, including the required Eur150 million ($163 million) cash injection to restart the plant’s furnaces and ramp up operations to 60% of capacity. However, the Ukrainian company has not yet received a response to the letter.

— Ekaterina Bouckley