Zelezara Smederevo temporarily halts production
The management of Zelezara Smederevo decided on Tuesday to put the second blast furnace into hibernation in the
first week of July because of the need to change the way the company is funded.
"At this moment, we cannot state how long we are going to remain in this regime of operation, meaning when we will have
enough raw material to restart and ensure a continuous operation of the blast furnace," the company stated.
Zelezara Smederevo said it expected it to happen in late September. It should be clear by then whether they are going to have
a strategic partner or enter a long-term commercial partnership, if the tender to select a strategic partner fails.
The company became government owned in late January after the government bought it for USD 1 from U.S. Steel, which pulled
out because of losses. U.S. Steel acquired the company, then called Sartid and in bankruptcy, in 2003.
On April 18, the government invited tenders to choose a strategic partner for the iron maker. The deadline for bids was May
4, and it was extended to June 10 and later to September 10 at the request of potential buyers.
According to statements by the government, Donetsk Steel Group from Ukraine, Ural Mining and Metallurgical Company from
Russia and United Plzen from Luxembourg have shown interest in becoming Zelezara's strategic parnters.