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Liberty restarts Italian pickling line; to restart pre-paint line in June

Dienstag, 21 Januar 2020

Liberty Steel restarted the pickling line at its La Magona plant in Tuscany, Italy, earlier this month, and is planning to restart a pre-painted line in June, union sources said Monday.

The pickling line has a design capacity of 400,000 mt/year and it was shut down in 2012. The pre-paint line has a design capacity of 100.000 mt/year and it was idled in 2010.

The company has two pre-paint lines, one of which is working and produced 100,000 mt of pre-painted coils last year.

Liberty bought the La Magona plant last July, together with other mills controlled by ArcelorMittal, which it sold following the acquisition of Italian group Ilva. The plants include ArcelorMittal Ostrava (Czech Republic), ArcelorMittal Galati (Romania), ArcelorMittal Skopje (Macedonia) and ArcelorMittal Dudelange (Luxembourg). Also included are hot-dip galvanizing lines Nos. 4 and 5 at ArcelorMittal Liege.

The revamping of the lines was part of the industrial plan Liberty announced during the purchase. “Liberty has started the promised investments, and this is good news for the mill. At the moment the pickling line is processing coils from ArcelorMittal Fos sur Mer, France. We recently bought also 100,000 mt of coils from Korea as well to be [processed],” a union source told Platts.

The company also has two HDG lines that are working with a combined annual capacity of 550,000 mt of finished steel products, the union said to Platts, data confirmed also by the company.

Liberty declined to identify the origin of its coils, but said it has “set up a technical working group between the plant and Liberty Galaţi to investigate the potential for Galaţi to provide its HRC.” Galati in Romania was also acquired by Liberty from AM.

“GFG and the Liberty Magona team have delivered a range of operational improvements since the plant was acquired in July last year, including the refurbishment and restart of a previously closed pickling line," a Liberty spokesman confirmed to Platts. “The Magona management team has completed the integration program planning, which has included near-term operational priorities, given current market conditions, and longer-term investment plans for transformational change. We will be updating all stakeholders on the key aspects of those plans soon," he said.

-- Annalisa Villa

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