Vitkovice Steel continues production despite pandemic

Vitkovice Steel says it is continuing production as scheduled despite the Covid-19 pandemic, by taking measures to prevent the spread of the virus.

“The communication both with suppliers and customers is now more intense with a view of ensuring continuous and smooth production and shipment,” the Czech steelmaker says in a note seen by Kallanish. “The crisis team plays an essential role at the company at present. It acts daily (including night-time, if necessary) handling all problems so that the production can run at the maximum pace.”

While no production has been curtailed, adjustments have been made to staffing, with some employees working from home.

Vitkovice has a 755,000 tonnes/year capacity plate mill and seldom-used 170,000 t/y heavy sections mill. The firm switched to sourcing merchant slab when it shut down its 950,000 t/y electric arc furnace-based meltshop in 2015 (see Kallanishpassim).

Fellow Czech steelmaker Liberty Ostrava, on the contrary, has announced it will idle a blast furnace until end-August due to Covid-19-related disruption (see separate story).

Separately, last month Vitkovice Steel completed the CZK 6 million ($241,374) modernisation of a cutting machine, which will allow it to produce new steel shapes and secure projects for construction and machinery industry customers. It has already been awarded the first contract from a customer in Poland.