Czech Republic-based steelmaker Liberty Ostrava, formerly ArcelorMittal Ostrava, has announced that it will temporarily halt its blast furnace No. 2 at the end of this month until the end of August, due to the impact of the coronavirus on the market. However, the company will continue operating its blast furnace No. 3 at the plant.
The temporary halt of blast furnace No. 2 will allow the company to better adapt to the significant slowdown in the European steel market by reducing pig iron production by 20 percent and will allow more efficient management of inventories. Besides, it will provide the company an opportunity to accommodate itself to demand changes in the most effective manner, remaining operationally and commercially flexible.
During the downtime, the company will conduct regular maintenance works at blast furnace No. 2 in order to resume its operations at short notice once the economic environment improves.
The company also said that this situation will affect 400 employees and seven percent of the employees will be transferred to available positions, while some others will be rotated on temporary unemployment with 70 percent salary to ensure the impact on each employee is minimized.
Meanwhile, Liberty Ostrava will continue to work on the implementation of its strategic investment announced in February.