ArcelorMittal will shut down operations of its blast furnace (BF) in Krakow, Poland due to the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on demand and high carbon taxes levied by the European Union (EU).
The Krakow BF was initially suspended in December 2019, after a decline in steel demand due to increased imports. Since this move, most of the 650 workers have found jobs at other ArcelorMittal locations across the EU, the company said in a media statement on Thursday. The plant had the capacity to produce 250,000mt of crude steel per year. The steel was used by ArcelorMittal to fabricate semis.
The steelmaker also blamed the EU’s lack of safeguards from steel dumping in the country and region, which affected the business sustainability of the BF in the region.
ArcelorMittal Poland will now source raw material from Dąbrowa Górnicza, a city in southern Poland. The company will continue to produce its value-added downstream products, and its coking coal plant, the largest in Europe, will also remain functional.