The unit was suspended in October amid falling demand in Europe

Czech steelmaker Liberty Ostrava, a subsidiary of UK-based Liberty Steel, plans to restart blast furnace (BF) No. 3 in January 2024 and increase production. This was reported by Nasdaq.

The company temporarily suspended its only operating blast furnace No. 3 at the end of October 2023 amid falling demand in Europe.

In November, the company announced that it had won a court order for protection from its energy supplier and was preparing a restructuring plan. The proposed optimization plan, given the challenging state of the EU steel market, will focus on cost savings by discontinuing production of certain products that are not currently profitable.

The company will also look for favorable terms for the purchase of semi-finished products for the production of final products, as well as analyze the use of coke production capacity, as it is currently cheaper to buy than to produce.

As GMK Center rpeorted earlier, Liberty Ostrava shut down its only operating blast furnace No. 3 on October 23, 2023. The unit’s downtime was scheduled for two weeks. During this period, full employment was planned to be maintained, and customer orders will continue to be fulfilled as the relevant rolling mills remain in operation.

In addition, in early October 2023, Liberty Ostrava began the process of shutting down one of the three coke oven batteries at VKB No. 11. The company sees this event as an important step towards the transition to environmentally friendly steel production. The unit was inefficient and was becoming increasingly unprofitable due to overcapacity in the market.

LIBERTY Ostrava is an integrated steel plant with an annual production capacity of approximately 3.6 million tons. The company serves mainly the construction, machine building and oil and gas industries. The company is a leader in the production of road fencing and pipes in the Czech market. In addition to the domestic market, it supplies its products to more than 40 countries.