The Serbian steel plant HBIS Serbia, owned by the Chinese steel group HBIS Group, plans to start production at full capacity in March 2023.
The only rolled steel producer in Serbia has announced its intention to resume operation from March 13, 2023, of one of the two blast furnaces suspended since July 2022 due to the decrease in demand and steel prices.
It was stated that the enterprise will work on two blast furnaces, but during the summer one of the units will be suspended for maintenance.
The total capacity of the two HBIS Serbian blast furnaces is 2.2 million tons of pig iron per year. The enterprise produces hot-rolled and cold-rolled products, as well as tin.
HBIS Serbia has signed a contract with Ukrainian Danube Shipping to transport more than 500,000 tons of iron ore along the Danube.
By the end of 2022, the annual steel capacity of about 14-15 million tons in Europe has been stopped. EU steel companies have been affected by the sharp increase in energy prices and the decrease in steel demand and prices. In order to control the sharp decrease in prices, companies decided to cut production to balance supply and demand.
In early 2023, flat steel prices across Europe began to recover due to tight supply and active restocking. The revival of the market has contributed to the restoration of steel production capacities of European steel producers.
In particular, ArcelorMittal has reached a normal production rate at the German ArcelorMittal Bremen. In addition, the company announced plans to resume steel production at ArcelorMittal Hamburg's direct reduction plant.
France's ArcelorMittal Dunkirk currently operates two furnaces, while in December 2022 the company decommissioned BF №2. The plant in Foss-sur-Mer is preparing to resume operation of the blast furnace with a capacity of 2 million tons in April 2023. ArcelorMittal Gijon (Spain) relaunched the BF-A in early 2023 after being idle since September 29, 2022.
ArcelorMittal also restarted the blast furnace №3 at the factory in Dąbrowa Górnicza (Poland). Currently, the plant is preparing to close BF №2 for major repairs.
SSAB of Finland, Tata Steel of the Netherlands, Slovak USA Stel Kosice, Romanian Liberty Galati and others also reported the restart of capacities.
In January 2023, European steel producers reduced their steel production by 15.2% compared to January of last year to 10.3 million tons. Compared to December 2022, steel production in the EU increased by 11.9%.