Ukraine-based mining and steelmaking company Metinvest is maintaining normal operations at its re-rolling plants in the UK and EU and is present in the export market with long products, CEO Yuriy Ryzhenkov told S&P Global Commodity Insights in an interview on April 7.
Metinvest’s re-rolling production sites in the EU and the UK include a shapes and bar mill (Promet Steel) in Bulgaria, two flat-rolling mills in Italy (Trametal and Ferriera Valsider) and a plate-rolling mill (Spartan UK) in England.
Semi-finished products for those plants were normally supplied directly from Metinvest’s steelmaking base in Ukraine but due to the disruptions caused by the Russian invasion, only billet deliveries from Ukraine to Bulgaria are currently possible, while slab feedstock for the flat-rolling mills is being sourced from third parties, Ryzhenkov said.
Promet Steel remains a rolling mill based on billet supplied from Metinvest’s own billet producer Kamet Steel (formely Dneprovsky Iron & Steel Works or DMK).
Kamet Steel is located in Kamianske in the Dnipropetrovsk region, where steelmaking operations continue without disruption. Therefore, Promet Steel’s billet requirements at 40,000 mt/month, have been fully satisfied internally. The deliveries from Ukraine to Bulgaria are going by rail, inland waterways (barge) and sea (using Black Sea ports in Romania and Bulgaria).
Ryzhenkov noted that by keeping Kamet Steel working, Metinvest remains present in export markets, with billet, rebar, wire rod and other finished long products. The company can sell up to 100,000 mt of billet per month. Although the access to Ukrainian Black Sea ports is blocked by the presence of Russian military in southern Ukraine, the company is using the Black Sea port of Constanta in Romania, Baltic port of Swinoujscie in Poland, as well as railway and barges on the Danube to deliver goods to export markets.
Contrary to billet, slab shipments from Ukraine to the EU ceased following the idling of the two integrated steel production plants, Azovstal and Ilyich Steel, located in war-torn Mariupol. Ryzhenkov explained that the group’s flat steel re-rollers in the EU had sufficient stocks of slab to maintain production until mid-April. Then the mills would pause production and restart in early May to work on slabs purchased from China and Indonesia. The company is also considering Brazilian slabs.
— Wojtek Laskowski