Stahl Gerlafingen closes production line

Stahl Gerlafingen has confirmed its intention to close one of its two rolling lines.

The Swiss maker of long products, a unit of Italy’s Beltrame group, warned of the move earlier (see Kallanish 20 March). Shortly before Easter, its management sent out an announcement stating that the closure of its line for merchant bar and sections is “unavoidable”.

The company bemoans that its merchant bar exports have been de-facto banned by the EU, of which Switzerland is not a member. “The export of wide merchant bar, which used to generate good revenue, has been practically made impossible by the EU since July 2023,” Stahl Gerlafingen says in a statement sent to Kallanish upon request.

Swiss mills are also hurting from high costs for electricity in the country, and especially from record-high grid fees, Stahl Gerlafingen points out. The closure of the production line would mean the loss of 95 of around 600 jobs at the mill.

The closure would not affect the production of rebar, which accounts for two thirds of the mill’s annual output of 700,000 tonnes, and which serves half of the country’s annual demand for rebar.

Christian Koehl Germany