ArcelorMittal S.A. : ArcelorMittal Liege announces intention to permanently
close coke plant and six finishing lines
Luxembourg, Thursday 24^th January - 12:00 CET - ArcelorMittal Liege today
with regret informed the local works council of its intention to permanently
close a number of additional assets due to a further weakening of the European
economy and the resultant low demand for its products.
On 14^th October 2011, ArcelorMittal Liege announced its intention to
permanently idle the liquid phase due to structural over-capacity in Northern
Europe. It was envisaged that in the future Liege would focus on its
downstream activities, operating five core lines and seven flexible lines.
Under the flexible model, which was rejected by unions, these lines would have
operated at between 0 and 100% depending on market demand. Regrettably, since
October 2011, the economic outlook has further deteriorated. Demand for steel
in Europe dropped by a further 8 - 9% in 2012 and is now 29% below pre-crisis
levels. A number of key customers in the automotive sector have announced
major restructuring projects at their plants. As a result there is
insufficient demand to support the running of these flexible facilities and no
improvement is seen over the medium term.
Despite the closure of the blast furnaces, the Liege facility reported an EBIT
loss of more than €200million for the 9 first months of 2012 and no
improvement is foreseen in 2013 due to the continued weakness of the European
market. This is unsustainable on an on-going basis.
The company is therefore proposing that in order to respond to these
structural market changes and further adapt to the reality of demand in
Europe, the following six flexible lines need to be closed:
- The hot strip mill in Chertal
- One of the two cold rolling flows in Tilleur
- Galvanisation lines 4 and 5 in Flémalle
- Electrogalvanizing lines HP3 and 4 in Marchin
Separately organic coating line 2 in Ramet will be maintained only as a
repairing line for the Combiline products.
Additionally, the company is proposing that the coke plant, which is no longer
viable due to the excess supply of coke in Europe, also be permanently
The company plans to continue to operate the five core lines which employ
approximately 800 people. These five lines are strategic due to their
dedicated high quality products, specialized processes and technological
The company recognises that this proposal will be very difficult for the local
community as it affects approximately 1,300 people. It is committed to finding
a socially acceptable solution for all those affected. This will include
discussions on all means to reduce social impact with Trade Union
representatives, including the possibility of reallocation to other sites
within the Group.
Bernard Dehut, CEO, ArcelorMittal Liege, said:
"We deeply regret that the economic situation has further deteriorated to the
extent that the proposal of further closures at Liege has become necessary.
We recognise that this is a very difficult announcement for the employees at
Liege, particularly coming so soon after the closure of the primary phase. We
had hoped that that closure would be adequate in terms of adapting to the
reduced demand but given the continued lack of orders and overall weakness in
the European economy, it has become increasingly apparent that further action
is required if we are to stem the continued losses that the plant is reporting
and return it to a sustainable basis. We would ask the unions to please agree
to enter into a constructive dialogue with us to secure the future of the
remaining facilities in Liege."
ArcelorMittal is the world's leading steel and mining company, with a presence
in more than 60 countries.
ArcelorMittal is the leader in all major global carbon steel markets,
including automotive, construction, household appliances and packaging, with
leading R&D and technology. The Group also has a world class mining business
with a global portfolio of over 20 mines in operation and development, and is
the world's 4th largest iron ore producer. With operations in over 22
countries spanning four continents, the Company covers all of the key
industrial markets, from emerging to mature, and has outstanding distribution
Through its core values of sustainability, quality and leadership,
ArcelorMittal commits to operating in a responsible way with respect to the
health, safety and well-being of its employees, contractors and the
communities in which it operates. It is also committed to the sustainable
management of the environment. It takes a leading role in the industry's
efforts to develop breakthrough steelmaking technologies and is actively
researching and developing steel-based technologies and solutions that
contribute to combat climate change. ArcelorMittal is a member of the
FTSE4Good Index and the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index.
In 2011, ArcelorMittal had revenues of $94.0 billion and crude steel
production of 91.9 million tonnes, representing approximately 6 per cent of
world steel output. The Group's mining operations produced 54 million tonnes
of iron ore and 8 million tonnes of metallurgical coal.
ArcelorMittal is listed on the stock exchanges of New York (MT), Amsterdam
(MT), Paris (MT), Luxembourg (MT) and on the Spanish stock exchanges of
Barcelona, Bilbao, Madrid and Valencia (MTS).
For more information about ArcelorMittal visit: www.arcelormittal.com
Contact information ArcelorMittal Investor Relations
Europe + 352 4792 2484
Americas + 1 312 899 3569
Retail + 44203214 3198
SRI + 44 207 543 1128
Bonds/Credit + 33 171 92 10 26
Contact information ArcelorMittal Corporate Communications
Phone: +352 4792 5000
ArcelorMittal Corporate Communications
Giles Read (Head of Media Relations) + 44 20 3214 2845
Tobin Postma + 44 20 3214
Martin Leeburn + 44 20 7379 5151
Sabine Huc +32 (0) 495 796994
Nathalie Van Laeken +32 (0)477 684405
Sylvie Dumaine / Anne-Charlotte Creach + 33 1 5370 7470
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Source: ArcelorMittal S.A. via Thomson Reuters ONE
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