ArcelorMittal Welcomes President François Hollande to Florange
During his visit, the French President was received by: Henri Blaffart, executive vice president and group head of human resources and international affairs; Robrecht Himpe, executive vice president and CEO of Flat Carbon Europe; Henri-Pierre Orsoni, CEO ArcelorMittal Atlantique et Lorraine, Geert van Poelvoorde, CEO of Flat Carbon Europe’s business division north and Herve Bourrier, CEO of ArcelorMittal France.
During their meeting, the President heard how ArcelorMittal has met its commitments, and witnessed the hard work carried out by ArcelorMittal to transform Florange into a center of excellence dedicated to the production of high-end steel. They also informed the President that ArcelorMittal France has hired 300 people in the country since the beginning of the year and recruitment is expected to continue in the coming months.
As promised in the agreement signed with the French government on 30 November 2012, ArcelorMittal has reconfirmed its pledge to invest €180m in the Florange site in order to provide it with a sustainable future. Today, €93m has already been invested in the site, for implementation in 2013, 2014 and 2015.
The Florange site currently employs 2,500 people in its automotive and packaging activities. Since the October 2012 announcement of the closure of the liquid phase in Florange and as promised by ArcelorMittal, there have been no compulsory redundancies. Solutions have been found on a volunteer basis for all 629 employees affected by the closure of the liquid phase. 257 employees took early retirement and 372 have new positions in Florange, some of whom are receiving training for their new roles.
As part of his visit to the site, the President was shown Florange’s unique capabilities including the only production line in the world capable of producing extra-wide Usibor® steel for the automotive industry. This unique production line, launched in February this year, represents a competitive advantage for the site and allows ArcelorMittal to be a market leader in the growing market of lighter, high strength steels for the automotive industry. ArcelorMittal’s objective is to double the Florange site’s output of Usibor® over the next three years. Packaging has also been strengthened within a consolidated and integrated packaging business, across Florange and Basse-Indre.
Thanks to investments in research and development, Florange is pleased to be spearheading the development of various high value-added products such as Usibor® or the Ultragal® coating.
Florange’s is at the heart of the dynamic Lorraine region, and Europe - its proximity to its clients is a key asset to further developing the business.
With regard to the Low Impact Steel (LIS) research program, a roadmap that is expected to be presented by the end of October is currently being drafted by ArcelorMittal and its partners. The program involves two main projects: one to reduce CO2 emissions and the other to value CO2.
Henri-Pierre Orsoni CEO of Arcelormittal Atlantique and Lorraine stated: "ArcelorMittal management is proud to have welcomed the French President to the site of Florange. I am particularly happy that employees have been able to show him the site’s facilities and demonstrate their know-how. This was an important visit as it enabled us to show the President that despite a tough economic environment, we are striving for operational excellence in France by ensuring our assets are competitive and best-in-class, for the benefit of both customers and employees."
ArcelorMittal stressed the importance of its activities in France, where the group is the country’s second largest employer, with 20,000 employees, producing 11 million tonnes of liquid steel a year. This represents 40% of ArcelorMittal Flat Carbon Europe’s production. The group has invested more than €2bn in France over the past five years and consistently continues to do so, for example through the €90m recently invested in its St-Chély-d’Apcher site, for the production of electrical steels.
ArcelorMittal has developed its activities in close cooperation with major French companies, such as the partnership dedicated to offshore exploration that was recently signed with Technip, to develop ArcelorMittal’s Bourg-en-Bresse site. Furthermore, ArcelorMittal’s research and development headquarters are located in France, in Lorraine at Maizières-lès-Metz. With a large presence in several French regions, and around 50 industrial sites and a significant distribution network across Europe, ArcelorMittal considers France to be one of its most strategic elements.