Liberty’s Galati shuts only working BF for maintenance; no market impact foreseen

Liberty Steel’s decision to suspend operations at a blast furnace (BF) at its Galati plant in Romania for the rest of the year for planned maintenance will have no impact on supply, it said.

BF5, which has capacity of 2 million tonnes per year of pig iron, will close for maintenance work before the end of the current week and will remain idle until the start of 2023, the company said on December 5.

The company expects the BF stoppage to have no impact on the market, considering the weak steel demand and approaching holiday period.

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

The rolling mills will remain fully operational during the BF downtime, apparently using slab from stock, Liberty Steel said.

The maintenance program at Galeti, which produces hot-rolled, cold rolled, hot-dip galvanized coil, plate and welded pipes, will cost 18.3 million Romanian leu ($3.9 million), the company said.

From September, several European steelmakers have announced output cuts and capacity closures, mainly in the flat steel sector, because of weak demand. Liberty Steel shut another BF in Ostrava over the summer without specifying when it will restart.

Published by: Julia Bolotova