September 17, 2012 / 3:02 PM / 5 years ago

ArcelorMittal plant in Liege threatened with closure

BRUSSELS, Sept 17 (Reuters) - ArcelorMittal, the world's largest steelmaker, said on Monday it had abandoned a plan to invest 138 million euro ($181.4 million) in a steel plant in Belgium, threatening it with full closure.

The steel giant said last October it would close two blast furnaces and a foundry at the site in Liege, with unions estimating that 500 jobs would be lost. Both blast furnaces had already been idled.

ArcelorMittal had proposed investing to retain steel activities at the plant and preserve 2,000 jobs.

However, it said that it had failed to agree with unions the details of job losses surrounding the closing of 'liquid phase' operations at the site and abandoned its investment plan.

The company said that the temporary stoppage of the liquid phase cost more than 5 million euros per month and that ArcelorMittal Liege had made an operating loss of 427 million euros over the past four quarters. ($1 = 0.7606 euros) (Reporting By Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by David Cowell)

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