Interpipe Steel Suspends Operations Due to Scrap Shortage
An electric steel-smelting complex of Interpipe Group, owned by Ukrainian businessman Victor Pinchuk, was forced to suspend operations last week due to a shortage of scrap.
Interpipe Steel, which is Eastern Europe’s largest producer of round steel billets, has limited operations since 16 March, the company said in a statement to LIGA.net.
According to Andriy Bibik, the director of Interpipe Steel, scrap procurement in Ukraine has dropped significantly, in some regions falling to near zero. Amid Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, scrap processing facilities have been lost, and the industry's human resources have also shrunk.
"In addition, scrap exports are breaking historical records, doubling every month, which puts the Ukrainian steel industry on the brink of disaster," Mr Bibik said.
He hopes that the downtime will last no longer than seven to eight days.
"The situation is difficult, but we are working with our scrap suppliers, some of whom we have signed long-term and strategic agreements with. This will allow us to provide the plant with raw materials and prepare the charge," said Valentyn Makarenko, Chairman of the Board of Interpipe Vtormet.
Mr Makarenko added that the supply of scrap will improve in late March, and Interpipe Steel will be restarted.
Interpipe is a Ukrainian industrial company which manufactures steel pipes and railway products. Its products are sold to more than 80 countries through a network of sales offices located in the key markets of the Middle East, North America, and Europe.