“The Galati Steel Plant is currently preparing the solid foundation for a modern and reliable steel supplier for Europe”
Mr. Bogdan Grecu, what is the importance of Galati Steel Plant for the Romanian economy and for the local community?
We were and are the biggest Romanian steel producer. With a history of more than 50 years, our production facility is currently producing 2 million tons of flat products with various applications, such as: shipbuilding, energy, automotive, wind mills, construction, infrastructure and re-rolling. A skilled and enthusiastic team of almost 8,000 workers and specialists, including contractors, are working around the clock to deliver high quality steel for our customers. Galati Steel Plant is a major regional producer and exporter, too.
Also, we are the biggest industrial entity in Romania and, of course, the main pillar of the local economy where our contribution stands for almost one third of the local GDP.
What does it mean for you to be an EU producer?
Steel is part of the backbone of the European Union industry. We are honored to sell and ship our steel on a free market but in the meantime, we take our responsibilities in preserving the environment and the community we are working and living in.
We salute the position taken by the EU authorities for protecting the steel producers in front of the dumping imports and other unfair commercial decisions.
Galati Plant is in progress of changing the owner. What key changes will this process bring?
The roots of this decision come from the necessity of settling a fair competition mechanism. What is more important is the fact that we should remember that the transaction and the transition months were supervised by the European Commission, which appointed a Trustee who ensured that we already act as a competitor and our activity continues without disruptions, in order to shape a strong foundation for the future.
All decisions were designed to protect the steel units included in the divestment package proposed by ArcelorMittal and the reality of today shows that this was a success.
The future, as we see it now, shows a growth for Galati Steel Plant. The investor, Liberty, announced measures to increase the production from 2 to 3 million tons and total investments exceeding EUR 300 million for the next 3 – 5 years.
Is your company ready to compete on the European steel market?
For sure, yes, we are delivering to EU since long time ago and our products are well known by our customers. In Galati, we produced steel for cruise ships and vessels with ice breaking capability that are exploring the North Pole, for the extraordinary railway station from Koge – Denmark (awarded for its great and bold design), for the Oman Gazi Bridge over Bosporus (one of the biggest bridges in the world) or for Dacia cars.
We are ready to expand our products portfolio and to deliver more added value products and, therefore, to strengthen our presence on the market.
Galati Plant passed through a comprehensive transformation. Can we see now the results of these efforts?
Yes, our transformation was ample and included all the layers of our activity. But the transformation will continue, especially on modernizing the equipment, digitalizing the processes and developing the employees.
Galati Steel Plant is now better prepared for the realities of today. Most important is that we will continue even more strongly with this process, given the opportunities arising from being in a new group.
What challenges are in front of you and how European Union can support the steel producers?
The European authorities are already supporting the steel industry. Of course, there are also concerns, especially those related with the necessity of adapting our carbon footprint and environment. Before being steel producers, we are Europeans and we fully understand the necessity of preserving the environment and addressing the climate change. From this perspective, the measures taken by Europe should be adopted by other countries and continents as well, in order to ensure a global and a consistent solution. We believe that there should be a level playing field for all actors to avoid migration of steel industry from EU to unregulated nearby countries which will only increase negative impact on the environment.
Steel remains a truly environmental friendly material, as it can be recycled almost infinitely. In the meantime, we are encouraged by the measures taken by the European authorities to protect the producers in front of the dumping commercial behaviors.
To conclude, I am confident that Galati Steel Plant is currently preparing the solid foundation for a modern and reliable steel supplier for Europe, with a young, professional and committed team and with enlarged cooperation with the communities.
Romania, Galati, No.1 Calea Smardan, 800698