Prague/Hradec Kralove, East Bohemia, April 8 (CTK) – International steel maker ArcelorMittal wants to sell its plant in Ostrava, northern Moravia, with representatives of the company discussing the sale with the Czech Industry and Trade Ministry on Friday, according to the Seznam Zpravy server.
ArcelorMittal Ostrava (AMO) steelworks employs about 7,000 people.
By getting rid of the Ostrava plant, ArcelorMittal wants to get European Commission’s (EC) approval for taking over Ilva steelworks in Taranto, Italy, Seznam Zpravy said.
ArcelorMittal wants to sacrifice its Ostrava steelworks for another company in Italy, selling the plant to an unknown entity, CMKOS umbrella trade union head Josef Stredula told the Social Democratic Party (CSSD) congress in Hradec Kralove on Saturday.
The sale will create another great issue in the Moravia-Silesia Region which has been hit by problems of OKD black-coal mining company and Vitkovice engineering company, Stredula said.
The EC has been assessing the acquisition since the end of last year having concerns about ArcelorMittal gaining too big a market share.
The company has presented the EC with a compensation proposal which should dispel fears about breaking the competition rules, AMO spokeswoman Barbora Cerna-Dvorakova told the server.
The intention to sell the Ostrava factory was confirmed by two independent sources from the ministry, the server said.
“I don’t expect the sale to be easy,” Stredula told the server adding that unions would demand that the state be active, Stredula said.
Industry and Trade Minister Tomas Huner wants ArcelorMittal to clearly state its idea of the sale as soon as possible, as the situation in the region is sensitive, he said in a press release on Saturday.
AMO produces over two million tones of steel a year mainly for construction and engineering, exporting its products to more than 40 countries.
In 2016, AMO generated a Kc1.308bn net profit, up by Kc1.017bn annually, with its sales dropping by Kc1.807bn to Kc28.786bn.
ArcelorMittal makes up roughly 6 percent of the world’s steel production.