March 24 2020
Letter of Manfred Van Vlierberghe, CEO ArcelorMittal Belgium
First of all, on behalf of our entire ArcelorMittal Belgium cluster, I would like to give every one of you who has been affected by the Corona virus, either personally or through a family member, family or friends, a heartfelt encouragement and wish everyone a speedy recovery. All managers of our cluster are in regular contact with their employees who are ill, in order to keep well informed of the evolution of their state of health.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the medical staff across Belgium who are doing a superb job in these particularly difficult circumstances.
Our ArcelorMittal Belgium’s approach is based on the following 4 priorities:
1. the health of our colleagues
2. preventing the further spread of the virus in our company and in society
3. the safety of our colleagues and our installations
4. our social role as a producer of raw materials
I would like to thank all our ArcelorMittal Belgium team members for the many efforts made to support our company in these uncertain times. A big thank you also to the colleagues who are currently present at our sites to ensure the production and maintenance of our facilities so that we can continue to fulfil our social role.
Of course, this work must continue to meet our greatest concern: the health and safety of everyone! We have taken strict measures in terms of hygiene and social distance. Let us take all the time required to carry out each and every task. This is important to prevent the spread of the virus.
The steel industry fulfils an important role in our society as a producer of a basic material that can be of vital importance. Our steel is needed, among other things, for the construction of hospitals, laboratories, supermarkets and facilities required for our society to function properly. In the current circumstances, the work carried out in our production lines gains even greater importance and I am more proud than ever of what our teams are able to achieve in this difficult period.
In view of the recent developments, we are currently investigating the possibility of shutting down blast furnace B prematurely in a controlled manner, compared to the original plan of the blast furnace repair. The timing of the repair will be adjusted, taking into account the Corona crisis. The degree of utilisation of our finishing lines will depend on the evolution of market demand and on the ability to continue producing and shipping.
We are responding swiftly to contain the Corona crisis as much as possible and count on the support of all of you. I am convinced that together we will overcome these difficult times.
Manfred Van Vlierberghe