Riva steel mill in Belgium faces 2 week shutdown following fire: Sources

Long steel products producer Riva Thy-Marcinelle in Belgium has suspended production following a fire at its Charleroi mill, market sources told S&P Global Platts June 23.

Riva Group — owner of the plant — declined to comment on the shutdown when contacted by Platts. the Riva Thy-Marcinelle mill has a design capacity of around 800,000 mt a year and produces wire rod, reinforcing bar and welded steel mesh, according to the company website.

The industry source said the incident impacted the the plant’s electric arc furnaces transformer and may require at least two weeks to resolve.

The European rebar and wire rod market is already tight, with prices impacted by higher demand. Northwest European domestic rebar prices have gained since April 16, when the Platts index stood at Eur620/mt ex-works. Platts assessed TSI Northwest Europe Rebar at Eur810/mt ex-works June 18, inching closer to the index’s highest level since July 23, 2008, when it sat at Eur815/mt ex-works.

“When the problem is a transformer it is unlikely that the mill can restart to produce before two to three weeks. It is very difficult to find materials and mills are very confident, safeguards make it impossible to import and scrap prices are high. Production is limited so if we want the products we just have to accept their prices,” another source with knowledge of the matter in Belgium told Platts.

“We were just informed that Riva had a fire, but we don’t know the full extent of its consequences,” said another Benelux-based distributor of steel.

As the mill is one of the major rebar producers in the European market, they expect rebar prices to react accordingly.

— Annalisa Villa, Rabia Arif