Thyssenkrupp continues to seek buyer for plate mill

Thyssenkrupp has limited time left to find a potential buyer for its heavy plate plant, which is under threat of shutdown next year, the company’s executives told Kallanish during the group’s annual conference on Thursday. This comes after talks with various parties to sell the unit have so far failed.

“The sales process for the unit is ongoing and no decision has been made on whether or not to shut it; however, no buyer has been found so far which increases the risk of closure,” confirmed human resources chief Oliver Burkhard. The tender process will be closed on 31 December, he added.

Thyssenkrupp says there should be no layoffs if the plant is closed. Among other things, those workers affected are to be offered jobs at other tk plants.

Earlier this week, in response to rumours of the plate mill closure, Union IG Metall complained about a “…black day” for the steel industry in North Rhine-Westphalia (see Kallanish passim). “The Covid-19 situation broke the neck of the sales process, which was carried out with great care,” IG Metall NRW district manager Knut Giesler told local media. “The current situation shows how urgently state participation is needed for thyssenkrupp’s steel division.”

The heavy plate plant, which employs about 800 employees, was earmarked for sale or closure under an ongoing asset review by the company. The mill produces plate for the construction industry, shipbuilding and pipelines, among other applications.