Tuesday, July 31, 2012 -
Steelmaker ArcelorMittal in Kazakhstan on Tuesday blamed a fire at a sintering plant for lower than anticipated half-year output.
The accident in May was one of the reasons crude steel production at ArcelorMittal Temirtau was down by 18 percent in the first half of 2012 compared with last year, the company said in a statement.
Disruption to the plant that feeds the blast furnaces badly damaged second quarter results, it said.
“Production was restricted by the accident at the sintering plant in May, as well as unstable operations of a number of the metal company’s units,” said ArcelorMittal
Temirtau general director Vijay Mahadevan in the statement.
Kazakhstan’s only steel mill produced 1.74 million tons of crude steel in the first six months of this year, versus 2.14 million tons in the comparable year-earlier period.
In the same comparison, pig iron production slipped 15 percent to 1.53 million tons.
Market conditions looking forward are not easy.
"We are preparing to work in complicated market conditions in the second half of the year," Mahadevan said in the statement.
The company is scheduled to resume negotiations with union leaders in October over a lengthy labor dispute over pay and conditions.
Mahadevan said ArcelorMittal aims to stabilize and boost efficiency of its main production lines, as well as cut energy consumption and improve end product quality to increase its competitiveness in the current market conditions.