Liberty Ostrava Strike Alert over CO2Allowances Transfer to Galati
Czech media Aktualne reported that trade unions operating in the Liberty Ostrava have declared a strike readiness as the current overall difficult situation threatens the operation of the company. OS KOVO Liberty Czech Republic Chairman Mr Petr Slanina said that “The trade unions are following the development of the situation with great concern. We unequivocally reject the option of lending Liberty Ostrava emission allowances to the Romanian smelter in Galati. Allowances in the amount of over five million units at a price of around 40 euros per one are currently the last capital that the Ostrava steelworks has remained in the Liberty Steel Group after less than two years of operation. The value of allowances is over 200 million euros.”
The trade unionists appeal to the members of the management of the Ostrava steelworks to refrain from all steps that could result in the removal of property from the company.
GFG Alliance said it is disappointed with the union response and that everything it had committed to in Liberty Ostrava is true. It said "We are deeply disappointed by the reaction of the unions in Liberty Ostrava to the current situation, which will deepen the uncertainty after the fall of Greensill. We are ready to discuss and explain everything to allay the concerns of employee representatives. The smelter still has enough orders and raw materials for full production. Until the GFG Group secures its debt refinancing, the smelter manages all its cash flows with the utmost prudence. Everything the GFG Alliance in Liberty Ostrava has committed to is valid.”
In recent years, the Ostrava smelter has saved emission allowances and wants to use them to finance the necessary modernization of the smelter, especially for the construction of hybrid furnaces in the steel plant and the acquisition of more modern technologies for rolling mills. According to Ziarul Financiar quoting FT GFG Alliance’s Liberty Steel’s Romanian subsidiary Liberty Galati urgently needs EUR 100 million to purchase the CO2 certificates that it sold last year. The Romanian plant is reportedly in talks with sister company Liberty Ostrava from the Czech Republic to obtain the certificates that the Czechs did not use.
Liberty Ostrava produces steel mainly for the construction, engineering and petrochemical industries. It supplies its products to more than 40 countries. Its annual production capacity is 3.6 million tons of steel. Even with its subsidiaries, the company has 6,000 employees.