Romania plans to restart Otelu Rosu steel plant

Romania wants to resume production at the Otelu Rosu steel plant, which has been idle since 2013, says Romanian Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu.

“Romanian construction company UMB plans to invest more than €300 million [$326.5m] in restarting the enterprise,” the president confirms in a social media post. “The investment will ensure the production of metal structures needed for infrastructure projects in Romania. The commissioning of the plant, located in the western county of Caras Severin, will create more than 600 jobs.”

The plant has changed owners on numerous occasions, Kallanish notes. In 2005, the plant was bought by the Ductil Steel Buzau group, which was subordinate to Russia’s Mechel. In 2013, Mechel sold all its Romanian assets to local company Invest Nikarom. In 2019, LDME acquired the assets of the Otelu Rosu plant, while at the beginning of 2024 it became known that Romanian businessman Dorinel Umbrarescu, owner of UMB, acquired the plant for €12m.

The new investor plans to produce steel structures at the plant necessary for the group’s construction activities, according to Romanian media reports.

The Otelu Rosu steel plant is equipped with a 100-tonne electric arc furnace, which was last modernised in 2011. It specialises in the production of low, medium, high-carbon and high-alloy billet, which are subsequently rolled into rebar, wire or other special products. The plant’s design production capacity is 850,000 tonnes/year of steel.

Turkey-based investment firm Ussuri Capital meanwhile plans to commission a greenfield cold rolling and galvanizing plant in Romania in 2027 (see Kallanish passim). The plant will have a 400,000 t/y capacity push-pickling line, 6-hi cold rolling mill with 250,000 t/y capacity and equal capacity hot-dip galvanizing line, and a 130,000 t/y continuous colour-coating line. Capital expenditure is estimated at €160 million ($172m).

Romania’s production of crude steel in 2023 totalled 1.58 million tonnes, down by 39.8% on-year, according to worldsteel data.

Svetoslav Abrossimov Bulgaria