The world's largest steel group, ArcelorMittal, is temporarily shutting down two plants in Germany. As the company announced, the high energy costs in Germany are the reason for the measure. This makes ArcelorMittal the first large steel company in Germany to draw such consequences from the increased costs.
blast furnaces shut down
The plants in Bremen and Hamburg are affected: From the end of September, the group will shut down one of the two blast furnaces at the flat steel site in Bremen until further notice, the company announced. In the Hamburg long steel mill, the direct reduction plant will be shut down from October due to the current situation and the negative prospects.
Short-time work is being expanded
ArcelorMittal announced that short-time work is already in place at both plants and is now being expanded. This not only affects the plants in Bremen and Hamburg, but also the production sites in Duisburg and Eisenhüttenstadt. The competitor from Thyssenkrupp and Salzgitter did not initially give specific figures for short-time work. The group employs around 8,500 people in Germany.
Along with the chemical, aluminium, paper and cement industries, the steel industry is one of the most energy-intensive sectors of all. Heavy industry is also struggling with high costs for raw materials and pollution rights.
ArcelorMittal boss: "No longer competitive"
"The high costs for gas and electricity are a heavy burden on our competitiveness. In addition, the federal government's planned gas levy from October will continue to burden us," said Reiner Blaschek, head of Germany at ArcelorMittal. With a tenfold increase in gas and electricity prices within a few months, one is no longer competitive in a market that is 25 percent supplied by imports. "We see an urgent need for political action to get energy prices under control immediately."