Liberty Steel resumed steel sheet production from the rolling lines belonging to the Polish heavy plate steelworks Huta Częstochowa on Jan 10, according to local media sources.
Huta Częstochowa’s spokesperson Jacek Noszczyk stated that Liberty had imported semi-finished steel products from its Ostrava steelworks in the Czech Republic around 140-150km southeast of the Polish mill.
The decision was taken to resume output from Częstochowa’s rolling lines by importing 7,000mt of semi-finished steel, rather than wait to accumulate ferrous scrap and ferroalloy feedstock.
Liberty’s investment vehicle Corween Investments is reportedly in the process of changing the legal entity’s name to Liberty Częstochowa.
Corween became the lessee of the steelworks under an agreement signed on December 23, 2020 with the trustee of the bankrupt ISD Huta Częstochowa.
The Polish plate mill hit headlines in July last year when the Chinese-backed investment vehicle Sunningwell International was selected by the local District Court to acquire the steelworks.
According to local media, Sunningwell’s lease was terminated as steel production was suspended and the company failed to meet its financial obligations for the acquisition.
Liberty Steel is reported to have entered a lease agreement that will last until July 2021 by which point the Polish government hopes to have concluded the sale of the plant.
The next tender for the steelworks is scheduled for the end of January 2021 with the bidding starting at €42.2mn with Liberty Steel touted as the favored bidder.
Under Liberty’s stewardship Huta Czestochowa is expected to first roll semi-finished steel products from the company’s Ostrava facility before returning production to 50,000mt per month.
Huta Częstochowa is equipped with an 800,000mt per year electric arc furnace (EAF) and continuous casting lines which are connected to a 1.2mn mt per heavy plate rolling mill and is integrated with its own scrap processing yard. The steelworks is expected to resume crude steel production for the first time in three months over the next few days.