German steelmaker Thyssenkrupp has announced its decision to close its Spanish Galmed (FBA9) plant near Valencia. The Sagunto plant produces 450,000 tons of hot-dip galvanized coils a year, mainly supplied to the automotive sector. The company said it took this decision due to the significant deterioration of the European car market and the consequent decrease in demand for galvanized steel products in Spain and Southern Europe.
Thyssenkrupp said that the capacity of the Sagunto production line is underutilized and that this trend will intensify in the short term, making the plant economically unsustainable. The company confirmed that the closure of FBA9 has become economically imperative. Thyssenkrupp also stated that the closure of the plant will be completed in about 12 months and that they will offer employment to 120 employees. These solutions will include negotiations with PowerCo, the battery unit of the Volkswagen Group.
This is the second time Thyssenkrupp has taken a similar decision regarding the FBA9 site, which was previously closed in 2013 due to low market demand. The company had reopened the plant three years later due to intense protests and political pressure. Now, however, it has decided to close it again due to economic difficulties and declining demand.