Mittal to ramp up investment at French site from Q1

PARIS Sat Dec 8, 2012 1:30am IST

A logo of ArcelorMittal steel group is seen at the Les Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyards in Saint Nazaire, western France, July 9, 2009. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

A logo of ArcelorMittal steel group is seen at the Les Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyards in Saint Nazaire, western France, July 9, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Stephane Mahe

Related Topics

Stocks

   

PARIS (Reuters) - Steelmaker ArcelorMittal vowed on Friday to kick-start a 180-million-euro, five-year investment programme at its Florange site in eastern France in the first quarter of 2013, seeking to allay union concerns over job cuts.

The fate of Florange's two idled blast furnaces, which employ just over a quarter of the 2,000 metalworkers at Florange, has become a headache for France's Socialist government, which struck a deal last week with the company to avoid job cuts amid union pressure.

While ArcelorMittal said it would keep the two blast-furnaces shuttered, it pledged to work with unions to reach a labour deal involving transfers to other jobs at the site, retirement packages and voluntary redundancies.

"The group's management calls on workers to construct with it a new phase in the history of Florange, which is destined to remain an important site for steelmaking in Europe," the firm, 40 percent owned by the Mittal family, said in a statement.

France's firebrand Minister for Industrial Revival Arnaud Montebourg raised the stakes in the dispute with ArcelorMittal last week by threatening to nationalise the Florange plant, raising workers' hopes that were dashed by last Friday's deal.

Unions angrily denounced a trick on Thursday when the company announced it was ditching its bid to run an EU-funded "green steel" project at Florange due to technical difficulties. The ULCOS project was regarded as crucial to reviving the furnaces.

ArcelorMittal, however, said on Friday it would plough 13 million euros into its nearby research centre of Maizieres-les-Metz in a bid to overcome the technical problems. A successful bid for EU-funding would allow one of blast furnaces to be used in a pilot project, it said.

The investment calendar for the Florange site will be detailed at a December 13 meeting with unions, ArcelorMittal said, promising to meet all its commitments to the French government. (Reporting By Daniel Flynn; editing by Ron Askew)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared
People walk in the Wipro campus in Bangalore June 23, 2009. REUTERS/Punit Paranjpe/Files

Wipro Q4 net profit beats estimates, rises 29 percent

Wipro posted a 29 percent rise in its fourth-quarter net profit, beating expectations, helped by increased IT spending by its customers. For the quarter ended March 31, the company said it earned 22.27 billion rupees compared with 17.29 billion rupees a year earlier.  Full Article | Full Coverage 

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Election 2014

Election 2014

India holds biggest day of voting with BJP gaining strength  Read | Full Coverage 

Market Eye

Market Eye

Sensex jumps 351 points, snaps 3-day losing streak  Full Article 

S&P on India

S&P on India

S&P: India's ratings to depend on next govt econ, fiscal policies.  Full Article 

Ambitious Aim

Ambitious Aim

In green car race, Toyota adds muscle with fuel-cell launch.  Full Article 

Deal Talk

Deal Talk

Piramal to buy 20 percent stake in Shriram Capital for $334 million.  Full Article 

Bond Market

Bond Market

A star abroad, RBI boss riles bond traders at home  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage