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ArcelorMittal Zenica to shut coke plant

ArcelorMittal’s Zenica, Bosnia-based long steelworks plans to close its coke battery as a result of rising costs and reduced steel demand, Kallanish notes.

However, the company will continue to produce steel through the blast furnace route, sourcing coke from external sources, it says.

According to the company, significant maintenance efforts over the past ten years have not been able to extend the coke battery’s life. It has concluded that further upgrades are not feasible and would not meet high environmental standards.

“This is a difficult day for the company, but ArcelorMittal Zenica will make every effort to ensure that the closure of the coke battery has as little impact as possible on the local economy,” says the plant’s chief executive, Nikhil Mehta. “We are committed to stabilising the company’s operations and our goal is to ensure the self-sustainability of our business.”

ArcelorMittal Zenica reported a net loss of BAM 159 million ($88.2m) last year compared with a net profit of BAM 41m in 2022 (see Kallanish passim).

Shipments were at their lowest level for the last 14 years, due to a 12% year-on-year drop in demand, and a 20% increase in the cost of electricity, resulting in additional costs of BAM 4m.

The firm does not expect the market outlook to improve in the coming months.

In January, Zenica resumed production after pausing output at its rolling mills in November, due to weak market conditions (see Kallanish passim).

ArcelorMittal Zenica is the largest producer of long products in the Balkans with a capacity of 700,000 tonnes/year. The basic product range includes rebar in bars and coils, wire rod, mesh and lattice girders.

Source: Kallanish