Ascoval Steelworks cuts its production in half

French steel mills Ascoval will reduce its steel production “by a maximum of 50%” from October to December due to the extremely high cost ofEnergy, announced on Thursday, September 22, the management of the German group Saarstahl, which acquired it in 2021 and assures that it wants to continue investing in it. “Ascoval will reduce its steel production by a maximum of 50% from October to December 2022. High energy costs are forcing Ascoval to take this step,” Saarstahl told AFP, confirming information from Le Monde.

“While others close or temporarily suspend production, we act responsibly,” said the group, which employs about 300 people in Saint-Saulve (north), a rotating site with electric furnaces. In October, the kilns will be off on Mondays, then in November and December they will run from Wednesday to Sunday morning, according to Saarstahl. Unions have also “accepted night work and overtime to cut costs.”

“As electricity prices are unfortunately indexed to gas, at current rates we cannot afford to continue working, otherwise we will sell at a loss,” CGT union representative Nacim Bardi told AFP, describing a “situation without precedents”. “The Germans see far, they see the ecological transition. They took us back because we are an electric oven and they are sticking their hands in their pockets at the moment, but until when? Worry.”

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