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In November and December, the company will stop production at the plants in Fosse-sur-Mer and Agondanges

The steel company Ascometal, which is part of the Swiss Steel Group, announced the temporary shutdown of two steel plants in France. Eurometal reports about it.

The trade unions reported, that the company plans to stop power for three weeks at factories in the cities of Fosse-sur-Mer and Agondange in November and December of this year.

“The company is forced to stop production due to a sharp rise in energy prices. Usually in August, Ascometal pays about €50 MWh for electricity, but this year the index has increased to €850 MWh,” said Herve Hansen, the head of the Fosse-sur-Mer plant.

Ascometal predicts that in 2023 it will have to spend about €80 million on electricity, while in 2022 the costs will amount to €8 million.

As GMK Center reported earlier, European steelmakers have recently experienced difficult times. Due to the high gas and electricity cost in Europe, companies are forced to reduce capacity or temporarily stop production.

Since the beginning of the September, ArcelorMittal Corporation temporarily stopped two blast furnaces at the plant in Dunkirk. From October, the furnaces in Bremen, Hamburg and Asturias will be also stopped. Also the company postponed the launch of the blast furnaces at the Acería Compacta de Bizkaia plant in Spain.

Low prices and weak demand for finished steel, combined with very high energy prices, have caused a wave of steel shutdowns in Europe. Following ArcelorMittal, US Steel Kosice, Dunaferr, Liberty Ostrava, Ferroatlántica, Ferriere Nord and other have decided to reduce or stop capacity.