Power Shortages Force Steelmaker to Cut Output

Power shortages have forced the Libyan Iron and Steel Company (LISCO) to slash output and shut down one of its two steel melting shops.

Officials told Reuters that the company, one of North Africa’s largest steelmakers, was currently producing at an annualized rate of about 625,000 tons, or less than 40 percent of capacity and well below its target for this year:

Since the beginning of the month we have been requested by the government to switch off steel melt shop No. 2 [pictured] because of the lack of energy in Libya. But hopefully we will resume the production in a week or 10 days.

LISCO resumed steel production in the spring of 2012 following a closure of more than a year due to the revolution, but the plant has reportedly suffered technical problems that limited production; repairs were delayed as some foreign technicians were reluctant to visit the country.

In 2012 the plant, which has a maximum capacity of 1.6 million tons, aimed to produce just over 1 million tons yet managed only 350,000.

In the first half of 2013, with most technical issues finally resolved, Lisco produced 430,000 tons of steel, 410,000 tons of direct reduction iron, and 180,000 tons of hot briquetted iron.

LISCO has relied more on Brazil’s Vale and Samarco for iron ore pellet since Sweden’s LKAB, historically a main supplier, stopped selling to the company due to worries about payment terms.

(Source: Daily Star, Reuters)

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