Mariupol plants sustain further damage, control unclear

Metinvest’s steel plants in Mariupol have suffered further damage as a result of the fighting between Ukrainian and Russian military forces in the besieged city, the company told Kallanish on Friday.

Earlier on Friday, Russian Ministry of Defence representative Igor Konashenkov claimed that Moscow’s forces and units of the self-proclaimed Donetsk Peoples Republic had completely seized Metinvest’s Ilyich Steelworks in Mariupol.

“The status of Metinvest’s production facilities located in Mariupol, and Avdiivka coke plant, has not changed significantly – they remain in hot conservation mode,” the enterprise said. “At the same time, assets in Avdiivka and Mariupol are reported to have suffered further damage as a result of the fighting in those cities. Until the active phase of the Russian military aggression is stopped and reliable channels of communication with the plants are not established, it is impossible to assess its impact on the group’s enterprises.”

In March, Metinvest suspended production at Mariupol-based Ilyich and Azovstal following the outbreak of war, and declared force majeure (see Kallanish passim).

At the beginning of April, Metinvest flat steelmaker subsidiary Zaporizhstal restarted two of its blast furnaces after an idle period due to the war. The plant plans to produce 65,000 tonnes of pig iron in April, ramping up to 150,000-170,000t in May. Production at sister firms Zaporizhkoks, Zaporizhvognetriv and ZLMZ was partially restored earlier.

In March alone, Metinvest subsidiary Kametstal was Ukraine’s only mill to produce at pre-war volumes and is now operating at approximately 80% of its capacity.

Metinvest’s iron ore and coking coal assets in Ukraine are operating at approximately 60% utilisation, providing sufficient raw material for Kametstal. The rest is currently being exported. In addition, the Pokrovskoye mine and Metinvest’s assets abroad continue to work.

Metinvest plans to allocate 900t of steel free of charge for the manufacture of approximately 80,000 units of body armour for the Ukrainian army. In addition, the company has produced about 50,000 anti-tank hedgehogs and 20,000 studded chains.

Most Ukrainian steelmakers have resumed production since the start of April despite the war continuing.

Svetoslav Abrossimov Bulgaria