History of Karmet
JSC ArcelorMittal Temirtau is an integrated steel company, dominating steelmaking in Kazakhstan. Producing close to 6 million tonnes / year of steel, the business was acquired [when close to financial collapse] by Ispat from the Kazakh Government in late 1995.
The timeline below covers the history of the firm.
- 1958: Construction of the integrated steel plant begins.
- 1960: Production of pig iron begins.
- 1995: Karmet acquired by Ispat Steel.
- 1996: Acquires 435MW power plant & large local coal mines.
- 1998: Closure and decommissioning of open hearth furnaces.
- 1999: New pickling line was commissioned; old polluting line closed.
- 2001: Gov. agreement reached on $580m capex program.
- 2002: Investment in second HDG line of 300 kt / year.
- 2002: Upgrade of BF#3 (capacity increase to 1.8 mt / year).
- 2004: Offical allegations over lack of environmental approvals.
- 2005: Construction commences at Temirtau of $30m tube plant.
- 2006: Methane explosions at Lenin coal mine kill dozens of miners.
- 2006: Strikes take place by coal miners over pay and safety issues.
- 2007: Change of company name to JSC ArcelorMittal Temirtau.
- 2007: EBRD agrees $100m loan - coal mine projects [H&S focus].
- 2008: ArcelorMittal Temirtau commissions new long product mill.
- 2010: Construction starts of new $120m Linde air separation unit.
- 2011: Coal seam degas & gas recovery program starts - Lenin mine.
- 2011: $10.2m project starts - construction of new Tentekskaya mine.
- 2012: No. 2 blast furnace recommissioned following $109m upgrade.
- 2012: Labour unrest over wages - backdated 10% pay deal agreed.
- 2013: Union chief announces 3000 employee reduction plan for 2013.
- 2014: Q1 2014 steel output reportedly 17% up on 2013 levels.
- 2015: 25% wage cut proposal: discussions with Gov + unions follow.
- 2018: Allegations made regarding 'Black Snow in Kazakhstan'.
- 2018: Pipeline accident at ArcelorMittal Temirtau.
- Amongst the workforce of the Karmet blast furnace which started up in 1960 was Nursultan Nazarbaev - the future president of Kazakhstan.
- Prior to the 1995 sale of Karmet to Ispat, other unsuccessful attempts were made to better manage the metallurgical combine, including a Kazakh-Austrian jv involving Voest-Alpine.
- Purchase of Karmet from the Kazakh government was for a consideration of ~$450m. On purchase, Karmet was renamed Ispat Karmet.
- $580m investment agreement of 2001 with the government of the Republic of Kazakhstan related to capital expenditures for reconstruction of blast furnaces, a continuous caster, coke oven construction, upgrading a tin plate rolling mill and establishment of a galvanizing line. It is understood that significant tax concessions for Mittal Steel were associated with agreement regarding this capital investment programme.
- The miners strikes which followed the September 2006 methane explosion at the Lenin mine had within weeks spread to six other Mittal mines, including the Tentekskaya, Shakhtinskaya, Kazakhstanskaya, Kuzembayev, Kostenko and Saranskaya mines. Note that a specific feature of the Kazakh mines is the presence of methane, which represents a major safety hazard for the Karaganda mines.
- 2007 loan from European Bank for Restructuring & Development was for investment by ArcelorMittal Temirtau in gas monitoring systems, ventilation equipment, and other upgrades.
- Long product plant commissioned in 2008 was a $150m 400kt / year facility for the production of rebar, channels, angles, and other structural steel products to be used for the needs of the domestic construction industry in Kazakhstan.
- In early 2008 the Kazakhstan government ordered ArcelorMittal to improve safety conditions or lose its mining license, after another explosion in January at the company's Abaiskaya mine killed 30 workers.
- 2015 proposal for a 25% wage cut from August 1st at ArcelorMittal Temirtau was reportedly taken due to "unprecedented market conditions"
- 2018: Allegations made in January claimed that snow in Kazakhstan turned black because of high pollution levels from the steel plant. Local residents asserted that the plant exceeded legal emissions limits.
- 2018: Pipelines were destroyed and four people were injured in an accident that took place on 10th November. The fault was attributed to use of steel 20 GOST 1050-84 rather than steel 09G2S in the pipeline construction.
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