Aperam stainless mill remains offline

Aperam stainless mill remains offline

Scrap-fed stainless melt shop awaits lower European energy pricing.

August 29, 2022

A recycled-content stainless steel mill in Belgium reportedly is among the victims of high-priced and supply-deficient energy conditions in Europe.

The Brussels Times has reported Luxembourg-based stainless steel producer Aperam, which also owns scrap trading firm ELG, has idled its stainless steel melt shop in Genk, Belgium, “due to the high energy prices.”

Although as of this writing there is no announcement on the Aperam website, the newspaper indicates Aperam announced it has not yet resumed production after a scheduled summer break.

The Brussels Times quotes Aperam Bernard Hallemans as saying of the operation in Genk, “We collect old scrap and melt it down into stainless steel. We mainly melt this in high temperatures in ovens that run on electricity. In the past, we spent tens of millions of euros per year on gas and electricity; at current prices, it is several tens of millions per month.”

While Hallemans tells the newspaper the melt shop will restart in September to honor existing commitments, he expresses concern about the mill’s ability to stay competitive based on current Western European electricity prices.

The CEO refers to hydro-powered plants in Scandinavia as having a potential advantage, as would mills in nations such as Spain or Portugal that have announced electricity price caps.