NLMK La Louvière, a Belgian producer of hot-rolled coils (HRC), to recommence production

Los Angeles, California, USA - 23 March 2019: Illustrative Editorial of Novolipetsk Steel website homepage. Novolipetsk Steel logo visible on display screen.

In steel news, Russian-Belgian strip producer NLMK La Louvière aims to restart rolling operations. A source close to the plant told MetalMiner that the current goal for the restart is the end of January. The announcement comes just weeks after a fire knocked the facility off stream. The December 23 fire was located in the finishing stand, prompting the plant to announce a force majeure on its deliveries.

Meanwhile, offers for HRC in late December were €660 ($695) per metric ton exw for January rolling and February delivery. Cold rolled coil carries an extra cost of about €100 ($105) per metric ton.

Do you use cost breakdowns in your steel negotiations? See other tips in negotiating with mills and service centers.

NLMK Continues to Dominate the Steel News Cycle

La Louvière is 50 kilometers south of the Belgian capital of Brussels. The plant can roll up to 1.68 million metric tons of hot rolled coil per year. It can also generate an undetermined volume of cold rolled coil. They accomplish the latter using slab received from Russian steelmaker NLMK Group’s main plant at Lipetsk.

Those who follow steel news know that the European Commission placed a ban on Russian steel imports back on March 15. Of course, the sanctions resulted from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which began on February 24, 2022. However, Russian semi-finished steel products are not currently subject to any sanctions by the European Union.

Metal coils stacked. Industrial environment

Moreover, La Louvière is technically part of NLMK Belgium Holdings (NBH). Both the Russian group and Belgian investment fund Sogepa hold a 49% stake while the Belgian Treasury holds the remaining 2%.

NBH’s assets include strip manufacturer NLMK Strasbourg Europe and NLMK Manage Service Center. It also owns plate manufacturers NLMK Clabecq and the NLMK Verona sites.

In October, NLMK Group and Sogepa closed a deal to consolidate Danish plate producer DanSteel into NBH. Key applications for NBH’s products include shipbuilding, machine-building, wind energy, energy, and high-pressure vessels production. Other potential markets include infrastructure, construction, transport, and yellow goods.

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