The abrupt slump in customer demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic is forcing Austria’s voestalpine to reduce production in various areas, the company says in a statement monitored by Kallanish.
This includes reducing pig iron capacity at the site in Linz by around -20%, by temporarily shutting down a small blast furnace. Elsewhere in Austria, units of the group will go on short-time working. This is to reduce production but also “… with the clear objective of retaining our highly qualified employees within the group,” ceo Herbert Eibensteiner says.
“Demand in key voestalpine customer segments has collapsed in just a few days,” he says. In order meet the required level of flexibility and to secure jobs as far as possible, short-time working is being registered at 50 units in European countries. Outside of Europe, voestalpine will implement alternative measures as appropriate in countries where no such short-time working models are available. Several sites in countries including France, Italy, Peru, Brazil, and the USA have already been temporarily closed.
“When our customers significantly reduce their level of demand, stop production, and supply chains temporarily come to a standstill, we need to react promptly,” Eibensteiner says. “In these difficult times, my particular thanks go to those who are still hard at work in production. They are making a vital contribution to maintaining our critical infrastructure at many plants,” he adds.