ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih Suspends Production Amidst Water Crisis

ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih (AMKR), the largest steel producer in Ukraine, has announced a temporary stoppage of some of its facilities in response to the
ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih
ArcelorMittal Kryvyi RihImage Source – WSJ

ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih (AMKR), the largest steel producer in Ukraine, has announced a temporary stoppage of some of its facilities in response to the aftermath of a massive water spillage at the Nova Kakhovka power plant dam. This incident, caused by a terrorist act perpetrated by Russia, has had far-reaching consequences, including severe floods and ecological damage in the southern region of Ukraine. Thousands of civilians are at risk, and the ecological effects are expected to be catastrophic.

The extensive flooding resulting from the water spillage has disrupted water supply in various regions of Ukraine, including the city of Kryvyi Rih, which heavily relies on the Kakhovka reservoir for its water source. In light of this situation and existing disruptions in water supply to its assets, AMKR has made the decision to temporarily suspend operations at some of its facilities. A representative from the company stated that equipment requiring water cooling will be temporarily halted to conserve water and protect the equipment until the situation stabilizes.

Currently, AMKR has ceased crude steel production and rolling operations, while maintaining the blast furnaces and coke batteries. The mining complex reportedly continues to operate normally. The company's ability to resume normal production will depend on the rate of water level decline in the Kakhovka reservoir and the overall impact of the terrorist attack on the hydroelectric power plant and dam.

The dam explosion at the Nova Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant, allegedly carried out by Russian troops at 02:50 a.m. on June 6, has caused widespread flooding, endangering numerous villages and cities and putting thousands of civilians at risk. The ecological consequences are expected to be severe and long-lasting for the southern part of Ukraine.

While the logistical operations of other steel mills in Ukraine may not be significantly affected, concerns arise for ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih, which relied heavily on the waters of the Kakhovka reservoir. Part of the city is currently experiencing water supply disruptions, and the mill may face challenges. AMKR has already restricted water consumption and suspended several metallurgical production processes. Crude steel production and rolling operations have been halted, while blast furnace and coke battery operations continue. The evaluation of a return to normal operations is expected to take around 3-4 days.

The immediate focus is on assessing the extent of damage caused by the water spillage and the decline in the water level of the Kakhovka reservoir. The situation is fluid, and AMKR will continue to provide updates on the operational schedule in the coming days.

ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih's commitment to maintaining a stable supply chain and fulfilling customer orders remains a top priority. However, the company acknowledges the challenges posed by the water crisis and assures customers that efforts are underway to mitigate any inconvenience caused. The impact of this crisis on the steel industry in Ukraine remains to be seen, with AMKR's situation highlighting the vulnerability of steel production to external disruptions.

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