ArcelorMittal’s Poland plant in Krakow’s restart plan will continue to be on standby until economically feasible.
In early February 2020, the company announced that the blast furnace, previously shut in November 2019, would resume operations. By March, it decided to postpone the restart at the Krakow plant due to the impact of COVID-19 in Europe but would restart the site when normalcy in steel demand was restored.
In early September, Sierpien80, the local steel union, accused ArcelorMittal Poland of not having plans to restart the site. In response, the company restated the March commitment that it will reopen the site once it is economically viable. Long-term plans for the site affect severance versus unemployment pay negotiations. The original agreement with the trade union expired on July 31.
ArcelorMittal Poland contributes to almost 70pc of the country’s steel industry and owns the largest coke plant in Europe. Other steel plants include Dabraowa Gornicza, Sosnowiec, Swietochlowice, and Chorzow with two other smaller mills also in postponed status. Production levels and revenues have fallen in the second quarter of 2020 on substantially lower steel demand with customers reducing purchases and in some cases closing operations either temporarily or indefinitely due to COVID-19.