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ArcelorMittal Atlantique and Lorraine: Intention to Permanently Close the Liquid Phase in Florange

Given the continued economic difficulties affecting the French and European economies, the company wishes to propose to permanently close the liquid phase and concentrate efforts and investment on the high-quality finishing operation, which employs more than 2000 employees. To date the company had implemented a strategy of temporary idling the Florange furnaces whilst waiting to see if the economic situation would improve. However after four years of challenging conditions, it is clear that there will be no swift return to pre-crisis levels. Today European demand is still approximately 25 % below 2007 levels. Although there is significant overcapacity in the European steel industry, the company has accepted the French government’s request for the government to find a buyer for the liquid phase. Although the coke plant would not be part of the proposed closure, ArcelorMittal has agreed to include in the sale. The company is proposing that in the future, slab for the Florange site will continue to be transported from Dunkerque, a world class site, thereby maintaining the industrial chain in France. ArcelorMittal will then focus on enhancing Florange’s position as a centre of excellence for developing high-quality value-added products for its customers, most notably in the automotive industry. The recent EUR 7,2 million investment in the existing galvanizing line will see Florange being able to produce the highest width Usibor®, in the world. ArcelorMittal is committed to continue to invest the appropriate amount to ensure a sustainable future for the finishing operations in Lorraine. ArcelorMittal’s Flat Carbon Europe segment, which includes ArcelorMittal Atlantique and Lorraine and therefore Florange, produces steel for three main sectors: automotive, industry and packaging, all of which have been significantly impacted by the economic situation and recession. The result of this has had a very negative impact on demand for steel in Europe. ArcelorMittal remains very committed to its presence in France, where the company runs over 50 industrial activities across 150 operations and employs approximately 20000 people. 35 % of its flat products European production is located in France, even though the country only consumes 10 % of the EU flat products market. ArcelorMittal is the world’s leading steel and mining company, with a presence in more than 60 countries. The Group is the leader in all major global carbon steel markets, including automotive, construction, household appliances and packaging, with leading R&D and technology. The Group also has a world class mining business with a global portfolio of over 20 mines in operation and development, and is the world’s 4th largest iron ore producer. With operations in over 22 countries spanning four continents, the company covers all of the key industrial markets, from emerging to mature, and has outstanding distribution networks. In 2011, ArcelorMittal had revenues of USD 94 billion and crude steel production of 91,9 Mt, representing approximately 6 % of world steel output. The Group’s mining operations produced 54 Mt of iron ore and 8 Mt of metallurgical coal. (10/2012)

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