Megasa stops production over Christmas on costlier electricity

Spanish steelmaker Megasa has stopped operation at both electric arc furnace-based plants in Naron and Zaragosa due to high energy prices. The company already communicated its decision to the workers’ council last Friday and implemented it at the beginning of this week.

Kallanish understands the production shutdown should remain in place until 7 January and it should have no impact on the workforce for now.

While most employees are already on vacation after maintenance and training, Megasa management admits this is a temporary solution and decisions will be made depending on the energy price situation in early January.

It is not yet clear how much production will be lost due to these stoppages. Supply should not be affected in the short term due to the Christmas holiday period.

Since November Megasa has maintained limited operations at the Naron and Zaragosa plants, producing only during nights, weekends and holidays when electricity rates are lower.

Similarly, high energy and natural gas prices are continuing to impact steelmaking operations at the EAF-based mill of ArcelorMittal in Sestao. Production at the facility has been halted since 7 December due to maintenance and updating of equipment. The plant is expected to return to operation in February. The company is constantly monitoring electricity and gas costs, and these remain worrisome, ArcelorMittal comments.

It is thought other steelmaking operations in Spain could implement production adjustment schedules during the winter (see Kallanish 22 December).

Todor Kirkov Bulgaria