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ArcelorMittal has PLN 220m capex plan for 2012 but will cut 1,000 jobs


ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steel company, plans to spend over PLN 220m (approx. €51.7m) on capital expenditure at its unit in Krakow in the course of 2012, as it maintains investments despite tough conditions in the global steel sector, Jacek Wolinski, Executive Director of the Krakow factory, told Polish Press Agency on 30 January. At the same time, however, the group plans to shed 1,000 jobs, or about 8% of the total, at its seven plants in Poland by the end of the year, through a mixture of natural attrition, voluntary retirement, and redundancies, in order to adjust employment levels to lower demand, said Sylwia Winiarek, a spokeswoman for ArcelorMittal Poland . European demand for steel remains at 75% of its pre-crisis levels and is unlikely to improve soon, she noted.

As for the capex plan, more than half of the sum will be invested in modernising the chemical department of the coking plant, a project that was inaugurated in 2011. The group will also replace two fired heaters at a cost of over PLN 50m (€11.8m) and buy nine new torpedo ladles for more than PLN 40m (€9.4m). The investments will make production more efficient and safer, reduce waste, and allow the group to obtain commercial-grade sulphur.

ArcelorMittal Poland is the biggest steel producer in Poland, accounting for about 70% of the country’s steel-making capacity. It owns six steel mills in southern Poland and ZK Zdzieszowice, the biggest coke manufacturer in Europe. These seven plants employ 12,300 people. Together with subsidiaries the group's Polish operation employs about 15,000 people.

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