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ArcelorMittal Liege announces intention to permanently close coke plant and six finishing lines



2013-01-24 12:23:54 -


Luxembourg, Thursday 24(th) January - 12:00 CET  - ArcelorMittal Liege today
with regret informed the local works council of its intention to permanently
close a number of additional assets due to a further weakening of the European
economy and the resultant low demand for its products.

On 14(th) October 2011, ArcelorMittal Liege announced its intention to
permanently idle the liquid phase due to structural over-capacity in Northern
Europe.  It was envisaged that in the future Liege would focus on its downstream
activities, operating five core lines and seven flexible lines.

Under the flexible model, which was rejected by unions, these lines would have
operated at between 0 and 100% depending on market demand.  Regrettably, since
October 2011, the economic outlook has further deteriorated.  Demand for steel
in Europe dropped by a further 8 - 9% in 2012 and is now 29% below pre-crisis
levels.  A number of key customers in the automotive sector have announced major
restructuring projects at their plants.  As a result there is insufficient
demand to support the running of these flexible facilities and no improvement is
seen over the medium term.

Despite the closure of the blast furnaces, the Liege facility reported an EBIT
loss of more than €200million for the 9 first months of 2012 and no improvement
is foreseen in 2013 due to the continued weakness of the European market.  This
is unsustainable on an on-going basis.

The company is therefore proposing that in order to respond to these structural
market changes and further adapt to the reality of demand in Europe, the
following six flexible lines need to be closed:

-          The hot strip mill in Chertal
-          One of the two cold rolling flows in Tilleur
-          Galvanisation lines 4 and 5 in Flémalle
-          Electrogalvanizing lines HP3 and 4 in Marchin

Separately organic coating line 2 in Ramet will be maintained only as a
repairing line for the Combiline products.

Additionally, the company is proposing that the coke plant, which is no longer
viable due to the excess supply of coke in Europe, also be permanently closed.

The company plans to continue to operate the five core lines which employ
approximately 800 people. These five lines are strategic due to their dedicated
high quality products, specialized processes and technological innovation.

The company recognises that this proposal will be very difficult for the local
community as it affects approximately 1,300 people. It is committed to finding a
socially acceptable solution for all those affected.  This will include
discussions on all means to reduce social impact with Trade Union
representatives, including the possibility of reallocation to other sites within
the Group.

Bernard Dehut, CEO, ArcelorMittal Liege, said:
"We deeply regret that the economic situation has further deteriorated to the
extent that the proposal of further closures at Liege has become necessary.  We
recognise that this is a very difficult announcement for the employees at Liege,
particularly coming so soon after the closure of the primary phase.  We had
hoped that that closure would be adequate in terms of adapting to the reduced
demand but given the continued lack of orders and overall weakness in the
European economy, it has become increasingly apparent that further action is
required if we are to stem the continued losses that the plant is reporting and
return it to a sustainable basis. We would ask the unions to please agree to
enter into a constructive dialogue with us to secure the future of the remaining
facilities in Liege."

About ArcelorMittal

ArcelorMittal is the world's leading steel and mining company, with a presence
in more than 60 countries.

ArcelorMittal 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.

Through its core values of sustainability, quality and leadership, ArcelorMittal
commits to operating in a responsible way with respect to the health, safety and
well-being of its employees, contractors and the communities in which it
operates. It is also committed to the sustainable management of the environment.
It takes a leading role in the industry's efforts to develop breakthrough
steelmaking technologies and is actively researching and developing steel-based
technologies and solutions that contribute to combat climate change.
ArcelorMittal is a member of the FTSE4Good Index and the Dow Jones
Sustainability World Index.

In 2011, ArcelorMittal had revenues of $94.0 billion and crude steel production
of 91.9 million tonnes, representing approximately 6 per cent of world steel
output. The Group's mining operations produced 54 million tonnes of iron ore and
8 million tonnes of metallurgical coal.

ArcelorMittal is listed on the stock exchanges of New York (MT), Amsterdam (MT),
Paris (MT), Luxembourg (MT) and on the Spanish stock exchanges of Barcelona,
Bilbao, Madrid and Valencia (MTS).

For more information about ArcelorMittal visit: www.arcelormittal.com

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