Industrial output in the Czech Republic weakened by 3.8 percent in June
following four months of growth, according to official figures released on
Tuesday. Lower auto production has been given as one of the main reasons
for the downturn. The manufacture of metal structures and fabricated metal
products also declined.
By contrast, the production of rubber and plastic products, computers and other electronics and pharmaceuticals increased in the Czech Republic in June.
Liberty Ostrava, the largest integrated steel mill in the Czech Republic,
has announced plans to temporarily cut steel production by 20 percent.
The company said the move involved reducing the pace of production and would not affect its 6,000 employees.
When Liberty Ostrava took over the steelworks from ArcelorMittal this year, its billionaire owner Sanjeev Gupta pledged not to cut production or close the plant.
The company now says the temporary cut is necessary to due rising costs for raw material and CO2 allowances.
Czech union leaders had claimed that Liberty House’s plans for the developing the steelworks were unsustainable and inconsistent with EU requirements.
The bankrupt Poldi Steelworks was auctioned off to the company Optimo Trade
on Friday selling for 140 million crowns. Poldi, a former leader in Czech
steel production, has been in insolvency since December 2017.
Friday’s auction was the fourth in over a year. The first three fell through after the anonymous bidders failed to pay the bidding price within the set time limit.
Optimo Trade, which was established in 2017, has already paid 90 million for the purchase and should cover the entire cost within 15 days.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) said following a meeting Wednesday with
UK-based steelmaker Liberty House’s owner that he wants the company to
submit in writing its plans for the ArcelorMittal Ostrava (AMO) steelworks.
Liberty House has said it plans to invest over €150mn in the next five years into ArcelorMittal Ostrava so as to improve the quality of the plant's hot rolled coil and produce higher-grade rod.
Owner Sanjeev Gupta on Wednesday confirmed intentions to boost production and along with it eventually hire more workers, the ČTK news agency reported.
But Czech unions claim the UK company’s plan for the Ostrava plant is unsustainable and inconsistent with EU requirements. Last week, Mr Babiš sent a letter to EU Competition Commissioner Margarethe Vestager calling on Brussels to review the sale.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) has called on the European Commission to
review the sale of ArcelorMittal's steel plant in Ostrava, due to be
sold to the UK-based steelmaker Liberty House.
In a letter to EU Competition Commissioner Margarethe Vestager, Mr Babiš alleges that Liberty House Group has not laid out a comprehensive investment plan for the steel plant, the ČTK news agency reports. Czech unions earlier claimed the UK company’s plan was both unstainable and inconsistent with EU requirements.
For its part, Liberty House said it has a firm growth strategy for the Ostrava plant, into which it plans to invest over €150mn in the next five years so as to improve the quality of the plant's hot rolled coil and produce higher-grade rod.
ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steel producer, will sell its
steelmaking facilities in the Czech Republic, Romania, Macedonia and Italy
to the British Liberty House, a spokesperson for Arcelor Mittal confirmed
The sales deal is part of an agreement with the European Commission related to ArcelorMittal’s acquisition of Italian steelmaker Ilva.
The acquisition price has not been made public. Together the companies have over 12,000 employees.
The bankrupt Poldi Steelworks was auctioned off for a third time on
Thursday, to an anonymous bidder for 256 million crowns.
The minimum bid was set at 160 million crowns with the estimated value of Poldi’s assets given as 180 million crowns.
The first two auctions that took place earlier this year fell through after the bidders failed to pay the bid amount within the set time limit.
The former jewel of Czech steel-making, has been in insolvency since last December.
Neither Moravia Steel nor its subsidiary Třinecké železárny will submit
a binding offer to purchase the rival steelworks ArcelorMittal Ostrava.
A Třinecké železárny spokesperson said on Wednesday that the decision had been made after “careful analysis and consideration of all aspects” of a potential deal, without providing details.
ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steelmaker, is looking to sell its Czech unit and some other assets by the end of the year in order win EU antitrust clearance to acquire troubled Italian peer Ilva.