The Sestao ACB will be reopened as of September 9


Economy

ArcelorMittal

EiTB.EUS

Starting this week, the necessary maintenance work will begin to start the installation.

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ArcelorMittal has decided to resume production activity in the ACB de Sestao as of September 9, as confirmed by the Hindu firm after meeting with the works council.

In a statement, Arcelor explained that it has opted for the reopening “because the appropriate conditions are met defined in its Business Plan so that it can be profitable in the short and medium term “.

To do this, from this week the necessary maintenance work will begin to start the installation.

According to the company, there have been several reasons that make possible the reopening of the ACB, closed since January, the first, the “effort that the workers have made to reach the agreements that are already known.”

These agreements include 12 hour shifts on weekends -To take advantage of the cheapest electricity rate on Saturdays and Sundays-, and the reduction of staff “although without traumatic dismissal measures”, with a temporary employment regulation file currently in force.

Another reason for the reopening is that ArcelorMittal has decided to nominate the Sestao steelworks as “Plant dedicated to R&D”, where it will contribute resources to research and develop both new products with high added value and technology associated with its process.

This classification of R&D factory would allow Arcelor to access the aid granted by the Basque Government, which a month ago showed its willingness to contribute aid to the Arcelor plant worth between 3.95 and 5.4 million euros. euros if you met some conditions.

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According to Arcelor, the plant’s specific technology, electrical, means that its developments have a technological advantage over others (those of the blast furnace), and the research and development that are successful “will be industrially and commercially managed from the plant itself.”

The third reason for the reopening is the application of other measures defined in the business plan to reduce costs and optimize processes.

At this point, although the company has not detailed them, the committee explained 15 days ago that the company would have achieved some cost savings, renting part of his land to a logistics company and moving the R&D center in Zamudio (Bizkaia) to the Sestao plant.

In addition, according to the committee, the reopening has been influenced by the recovery of the price of steel, since the basic steel coil in the European market is now paid at about 430 euros per ton, while the cost of manufacturing that coil in the Sestao’s steelworks in January 2016 was 387 euros per tonne.

The ACB has more margin, since half of its orders are to manufacture special high value-added steels, whose market price is higher than 900 euros per ton, with a profit margin of more than 200 euros per coil.

The Basque Government welcomes the reopening

In this context, the Basque Government has welcomed the reopening of the ACB plant in Sestao, stating that “it was what was expected, taking into account that for many months they have been working intensely to favor a context that would allow the continuity of the activity in Sestao “.

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In a brief statement, the Department of Economic Development and Competitiveness has indicated that “this was the option that the Basque Government has been demanding”.

The heads of the Department have remained in contact today with the management of the company and the ACB workers committee, and tomorrow the minister Arantxa Tapia will give a press conference to expose the opinion of the Basque executive in more detail.

UGT-Euskadi considers that “is a start”

José Ramón Manso, UGT-Euskadi delegate at the ACB plant in Sestao, commented that “it is a beginning, at least it is starting up, although we would have liked it to be with other conditions”.




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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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