ArcelorMittal to halt production in Belgian plant: reports

October 31st, 2008 - 12:52 am ICT by IANS  

Brussels, Oct 30 (IANS) ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steelmaker, will halt production at the Genk plant in Belgium for at least four weeks during the end of this year, media reports said Thursday.According to the management of the Luxembourg-based company, the demand for inox - a type of stainless steel it produces at Genk plant, has fallen sharply during the past weeks, the Flanders Radio and Television (VRT) reported on its website.

Genk is one of the most important industrial cities in the Dutch-speaking Flanders region of Belgium, reports EuAsia News.

According to the report, the steel giant has lost a number of clients in the past weeks as many clients have either postponed or cancelled their orders.

In an effort to adapt supply to demand in the light of present market conditions, ArcelorMittal has decided to cut its output by 70,000 tonnes on a yearly basis, said the VRT report.

ArcelorMittal Genk employs some 1,300 people.

Earlier, the ArcelorMittal plants in the Belgian cities of Ghent and Seraing also introduced a system of temporarily halting production.

In Ghent, some 1,800 workers of the almost 6,000 Ghent employees have to stay at home one or two days each week until the end of the year due to the economic crisis.

ArcelorMittal, which in September said it had foreseen a growth of 3-5 percent in the world steel market in the coming years, announced Tuesday that it was reducing production in Poland by 10-15 percent from 2007 levels.

Meanwhile, another steel giant Duferco has also announced severe production cuts. The company has decided to close its plant in northeastern Belgian city of La Louviere for three to five weeks, the VRT said.

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