ArcelorMittal to keep Krakow furnace closed for a couple of days after fire

ArcelorMittal to keep Krakow furnace closed for a couple of days after fire
By bne IntelliNews August 16, 2019

The fire which broke out on August 15 at ArcelorMittal’s steel plant in Krakow was extinguished in a couple of hours, local media reported. The conveyor transporting coke to the blast furnace caught fire.

For security reasons, the company is planning to keep the blast furnace closed for two to three days. The cause of the fire is not known.

ArcelorMittal’s Polish plant produces around 1.5mn tonnes of steel a year.

In May the company said that it would shut the Krakow plant in September for some time, affecting 1,200 workers, due to rising carbon emission costs and surging power prices. In July the company had decided to postpone the temporary shutdown after protests by workers.

The Krakow steel plant has lost competitiveness due to the growing imports of steel from outside the EU rising prices of CO2 emission allowances and electricity prices.

Imports of hot-rolled products to Poland increased by 500 thousand tons last year, and at the same time, prices of CO2 emission allowances grew by 230%, Geert Verbeeck, president of ArcelorMittal Poland, said recently.

The steel giant globally reduced its carbon footprint by 6% over the past 10 years but the cuts in Poland reached 37%. ArcelorMittal is working on technologies to produce steel from iron ore without using fossil fuels. The steelmaker spent $247mn last year on projects increasing energy efficiency.

The company wants to achieve carbon neutrality in Europe by 2050.

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