7 Jun 2023 12:06

ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih shuts down steel production to reduce water use after Kakhovka dam breach

MOSCOW. June 7 (Interfax) - ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih, Ukraine's largest steelmaker, is shutting down its steel smelting and rolling operations due to restrictions on water supplies after the breach of the Kakhovka dam.

ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih has limited water use and put a number of steel production processes on pause, the steelmaker reported. Virtually all water-cooled equipment has been temporarily shut down.

The plant said it would preserve its production units and reduce water consumption until the situation normalizes.

The blast furnace and coke-chemical divisions, as well as mine and ore processing plant will remain in operation.

The company said its logistics and resource chain is operating stably and all orders will be carried out in full.

How quickly normal operations can resume will become clear in the next three or four days, after an analysis of the depth to which the water level in the Kakhovka reservoir has fallen, it said.

ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih, which specializes in long steel products such as rebar and rods, said earlier that it was putting some employees on remote work because water stopped being fed to some divisions due to the Kakhovka dam incident.

Early on Tuesday, valves and other above-water structures at the Kakhovka Hydropower Plant were destroyed as a result of shelling by Ukrainian forces. This led to an uncontrolled release of water from the Kakhovka reservoir downstream along the Dnepr River. Nearby towns are flooding and being evacuated. Forecasts project the water might go down within 72 hours.

The Kakhovka HPP, which has been in operation since the 1950s, regulates the flow of the Dnepr for power generation, irrigation, water supply for arid southern regions and navigation from Kherson to Zaporozhye. It is also the starting point of the North Crimea canal, which supplies water to the arid Black Sea peninsula of Crimea. According to the latest information, the plant is not generating electricity.