The price of electricity remains exceptionally high and the situation on the energy market has not eased since Outokumpu announced on September 6 its decision to delay the restart of one of its three ferrochrome furnaces after a maintenance break. In this exceptional situation, the company plans therefore to further delay the restart of this furnace at least until the end of the first quarter of 2023 and will start change negotiations related to the restriction of the ferrochrome production. These negotiations concern all of the employees working in the ferrochrome operations, and the planned measures would concern at most 70 people.
“Unfortunately, the situation in the energy market has not eased, but the high price of electricity continues to have a negative impact on our cost competitiveness compared to our competitors, mainly from outside Europe. The possible further delay of the restarting of the furnace is a difficult but potentially necessary measure in an utterly exceptional situation. In the change negotiations, we will try to find a solution for us to be able to employ our ferrochrome personnel in the other Tornio operations,” says Martti Sassi, President, business area Ferrochrome.
Outokumpu started to optimize its ferrochrome production in August 2022 by not producing ferrochrome at the highest electricity prices. The capacity of the furnace that has been shut down is approximately 30% of the entire ferrochrome capacity. Continuing to restrict the ferrochrome production will not impact Outokumpu’s stainless-steel deliveries.
“Outokumpu’s ferrochrome has the smallest carbon footprint in the world. We hope that politicians will take an active role in stabilizing the energy market environment, so that we can continue to profitably produce ferrochrome,” continues Sassi.