Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Production in Smederevo steel mill not stopping

SMEDEREVO - Speculations about lay-offs and the suspension of another blast furnace at the Smederevo steel mill are arbitrary and have no basis in the decisions made by the company's leadership, the steelworks' spokesperson Dusanka Rankovic told Tanjug on Tuesday.

According to her, the Smederevo still mill has been producing in accordance with the plan drawn up based on available resources and customer requirements. "We are working with one blast furnace, as in the previous period, and all other plants follow that production. Therefore, we did not announce that another blast furnace will stop working," Rankovic said.
In line with the production volume, a number of our employees will be sent to short paid leaves which they can replace with annual leave if they want to, she said.

In the past days, the media reported that around 5,000 workers will be sent home until further notice for the second time this year, and that another blast furnace in the steelworks will be put in hibernation.

The Smederevo still mill became a state-owned company late January, after being purchased for one dollar from the U.S. Steel, which pulled out from Serbia due to operating losses.

The Serbian Ministry of Finance invited a tender for strategic partner for the still mill on April 18, marking May 4 as the deadline for submission of binding offers. At the request of tenderers, the Serbian government extended the deadline until June 11. Interested buyers must submit a bid guarantee of EUR 1 million.

Formal bids have so far been filed by Luxembourg-based United Pilsen SA, the Donetsksteel Group from Ukraine and Russia's Ural Mining and Metallurgical Company.

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