In response to falling demand and rising energy prices, ArcelorMittal has begun discussions with unions on a comprehensive furlough plan for the 8,300 employees at its Spanish mills, according to a company representative.
The spokesman stated that the largest steelmaker in the world anticipates reaching an agreement in the next weeks that will allow it to shut down any of its Spanish factories for any length of time up until the end of 2023.
In addition to shutting down one of its two blast furnaces in the Asturias area, with a capacity of 2.3 million tons, on September 28, ArcelorMittal also plans to idle its Sestao steelworks near the northern city of Bilbao, which has an annual capacity of 700,000 tons.
There are 11 facilities owned by the corporation in Spain, but none of them—three in Alava and one in Navarra—are scheduled to stop producing steel pipes.
Due to the worsening economic situation, European steel manufacturers are seeing a decline in demand, notably from automakers. Because energy costs haven't increased as quickly and labor costs are lower outside of Europe, customers choose to purchase steel there.
According to the spokeswoman, European steelmakers now face greater competition due to the rising cost of carbon permits.
In comparison to the same quarter last year, ArcelorMittal said it planned to cut 1.5 million tons from its fourth-quarter output in Europe. Spain produced 6.1 million tons of it last year.
The business said that a French furlough program is also in the works.
The materials and information on this article have been prepared or assembled by Viet Nam Steel and are intended for informational purposes only.