Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Lakshmi Mittal takes the pedal off the metal

Lakshmi Mittal, CEO of ArcelorMittal, the world's biggest steelmaker.
LONDON, UK -- "ArcelorMittal, which didn't exist a decade ago, now accounts for 10% of global steel production. That pedal-to-the-metal growth strategy worked until a year ago when the world's economy took a dive. The company, based in Luxembourg, posted three consecutive quarterly losses, the latest at $792 million, and some analysts expect it to post another loss in the current quarter. Still Mr. Mittal says it would have been far worse if the steelmaker didn't shut mills, slash production about 35% and lay off thousands of workers,"

-- Robert Guy Matthews, Wall Street Journal.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Steelmakers hold millions of EU pollution permits

LUXEMBOURG -- "Steelmakers such as ArcelorMittal have become huge beneficiaries of the European Union's emissions trading scheme, making tens of millions of pounds out of free carbon permits, research shows. Just three plants in Belgium, Spain and Romania, all controlled by Lakshmi Mittal, Britain's richest man, are sitting on 15% of the surplus permits handed out by the EU, according to official figures obtained by the Sandbag environmental campaign group. 'The scale of the benefits enjoyed by the steel industry make it look like the ETS is being used as a hidden subsidy to the sector,' said Bryony Worthington, the founder of Sandbag. The price of carbon has plunged over the last 12 months, partly because the slowdown has reduced output and emissions, but also because the EU handed out too many free permits to industry,"

-- Terry Macalister, The Guardian.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Arcelormittal South Africa says worker dies after blast

JOHANNASBERG, South Africa -- "Arcelormittal South Africa Ltd, a unit of the world's top steelmaker, said a worker at its Vanderbijlpark plant died on Monday from injuries sustained after an explosion on Saturday, but operations had since resumed. Arcelormittal did not say how much production was lost as a result of the accident, which forced the suspension of operations at the furnace until Monday. It said it had started an investigation into the cause of the blast. The company said the fatality was its first this year following two fatalities in 2007 and two in 2008,"

-- Shapi Shacinda, Reuters.