The reason for such a step was a difficult market situation

Liberty Steel has again suspended the operation of its only blast furnace operating in Europe at its plant in Galati, Romania, due to the difficult market conditions, Argus Media reports.

A company spokesperson told the news agency that the decision was made to introduce a temporary period of hot downtime and continue to operate the processing plants using slab stocks to ensure profitable and stable production in Galati.

According to him, during the downtime, the company will focus on maintenance and repairs to improve blast furnace performance and reliability, as well as consolidating its order book for customers in profitable market segments.

According to market sources, Liberty used financing from Exim Banca Romaneasca to purchase raw materials for the blast furnace.

Czech steelmaker Liberty Ostrava plans to restart its blast furnace on June 1, 2024, if an agreement is reached with energy supplier Tameh, or on January 1, 2025, if not. In total, the company offers two restructuring plans. According to market sources, the company used to produce coils from slabs imported from Russia and Asia.

As GMK Center reported earlier, Liberty Steel recently announced that it was considering recapitalizing or selling its main European rolling lines. The company has initiated a strategic review of its processing facilities, which will evaluate assets in Liège (Belgium), Dudelange (Luxembourg) and Pembino (Italy). Jefferies LLC will conduct the review.