"The situation of Dunaferr has become untenable", and after the closure of one blast furnace weeks ago, the steel works were forced, on September 16, to close down the other one, which, according to the company, "could have fatal consequences for one of the largest Hungarian industrial companies."
The immediate reason for the shutdown, they say in a statement, is the unexpected refusal of Donau Brennstoffkontor (DBK) GmbH, their partner for decades, to supply the essential raw material coke, the popular news site telex.hu reports.
"The forced shutdown now means that there is currently no possibility for pig iron and steel production at Dunaferr," they write.
The company says their only chance of survival is to maintain production and restart the blast furnaces quickly, "because a longer shutdown would make Dunaferr's operations impossible, mainly due to the technical risks and costs of restarting. The only possible solution is for DBK to restart the supply of the necessary quantity and quality of coke within a week at the latest," they say.
They also add that they will try to hold on and continue to employ their workers – they have 4,500 direct employees – but even if in the short term, the supply of coke will solve the situation to some extent, in the long term "the only way to survive in an industry in crisis is for the state to intervene." Without it, they say, they could be out of business within weeks.
Dunaferr has been in a messy situation for a long time: the unresolved ownership situation was followed by the coronavirus epidemic, then the Russian-Ukrainian war, the energy crisis, all of which, they say, “have now put Dunaferr in a situation that the group alone is unable to cope with.”
According to the company, “the fate of Dunaferr and the livelihoods of thousands of families in the region could be decided in the next week.”
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