ArcelorMittal Italia declares force majeure

Monday, 15 July 2019 12:34:35 (GMT+3)   |   Brescia
       

ArcelorMittal Italia has declared force majeure following a crane accident last Wednesday at the port of Taranto and blast furnaces N. 2 and 4 have been taken off line for two days.

The accident, when a crane being operated by a worker at the works' raw materials pier fell into the sea, was caused by weather conditions, ArcelorMittal Italia said. Following the incident, local unions called strikes, while the worker’s body was recovered on 13th July.

ArcelorMittal Italia said in a note that "the declaration follows the authorities' seizure of the pier No. 4 at the Taranto works for investigation. As a result of the seizure, ArcelorMittal Italia is unable to fully operate in the affected areas for the foreseeable future and therefore by this letter we inform you that our ability to perform our obligations under our contracts will likely be prevented, delayed, hindered or otherwise adversely affected."

Meanwhile, last week, a Taranto Public Prosecutor ordered a production halt at blast furnace No. 2 as it would not comply with operational safety standards. Back in July 2015, a worker died in the same plant.

"To date, we are unable to determine how long this force majeure will continue," said ArcelorMittal Italia.

Stoppages of the facility's blast furnaces have affected 10,000-12,000 mt/day of production. This had little impact on the European HRC coils pricing, as the continuing automotive issues are still affecting the market, with mills and service centers trying to offset the decline in auto demand with shipments into other industry segments.

Today Economic Development Minister Luigi Di Maio will meet ArcelorMittal's representatives and local unions to discuss the many issues around ArcelorMittal Italia, among which the temporary lay-off of 1,400 workers in Taranto for thirteen weeks, and the Crescita law decree that will enter into force on September 6 and will cancel the company's immunity from penal proceedings concerning pollution. Unions suspended their strikes last Friday, when the Minister announced the meeting.

The Taranto works, formerly operated by Ilva and acquired by ArcelorMittal last year, is Italy's largest flat products works. It was expected to produce around 5 million mt of flat products in 2019, up from 4.5 million mt last year.


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