Mar September 4, 2022 09:27
The world’s largest steel concern, Arcelor-Mittal, is shutting down production at two German plants due to high energy prices. In other factories, it limits activity. The economic daily Handelsblatt writes about it.
Arcelor-Mittal cites “excessively increased energy prices” as the reason. Manufacturing is simply no longer competitive, the Luxembourg-based group said in a statement on Friday.
Specifically, the company is shutting down one of the two blast furnaces for the production of flat steel in Bremen and the plant in Hamburg. The blast furnace in Bremen is scheduled to shut down at the end of September, and in Hamburg there is talk of shutting down in the fourth quarter.
According to Arcelor-Mittal, both plants have already curtailed their production in recent months. However, production restrictions also apply to the group’s other German operations in Duisburg and Eisenhüttenstadt.
Steel production at ArcelorMittal’s German factories is no longer viable. “We see an urgent need for political intervention,” commented Reiner Blaschek, head of the German part of the Indian concern, on the situation.
ArcelorMittal is the largest steel producer in the world with more than 315,000 employees and production plants in 60 countries. In the Czech Republic, until 2019, ArcelorMittal owned a subsidiary company, ArcelorMittal Ostrava, which operated on the premises of the Ostrava Nová huta.
Problems of the chemical industry
The German chemical industry has also had problems for many months. According to the chemical industry association VCI, the energy crisis has already led to a sharp drop in production. “The situation is dramatic. Chemical production has fallen by ten percent since the beginning of the year,” VCI Executive Director Wolfgang Entrup told Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland (RND).
At the beginning of July, the VCI still expected a 1.5 percent drop in production for the chemical and pharmaceutical industry this year, given the expensive but sufficient supplies of energy and raw materials. For the purely chemical business, the association predicted a four percent drop.
“The bottom hasn’t been reached yet,” Entrup said. “The VCI demands that the federal government’s energy cost reduction program be expanded and changed, with which it can support energy-intensive businesses with state aid. According to Entrup, it is useless in the chemical industry in its current form.