Libyan Iron and Steel Company ramps up output in 2020 despite pandemic
Despite a number of difficulties connected with the spread of COVID-19 and some halts in operations, Libyan Iron and Steel Company (LISCO) managed to increase production in 2020.
LISCO ramped up HBI production by 14% year-on-year to 406,000 t in 2020. The growth was not as sharp as during the previous year (69%), but still an achievement, taking into account the lockdown.
Export sales inched down by 2% to 309,000 t over the mentioned period. Algeria, Italy, France, Turkey, Greece, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Italy, Morocco, Portugal and Egypt were among the main consumers of Libyan metallized products.
In the finished steel segment, LISCO capitalized on long products sales. The mill managed to increase its production by 17% to 507,000 t. It traditionally focused on cooperation with local buyers, while export dropped from 50,092 t to 5,417 t, destined for Algeria and Lebanon.
The flat steel business was quite slow. HRC output fell by 56% to 72,000 ,CRC volumes were placed in the domestic market and amounted to 15,000 t, down by 33% y-o-y.
In 2020, LISCO had to overcome a number of challenges and even revise its plans due to production halts. The mill stopped operations in March-May, as workers had to stay at homes. Of course, this fact influenced the output.
However, the situation is gradually improving and now the company targets to post stronger results in 2021, mainly relying on an upturn in foreign sales. Long steel production and export are expected at 605,000 t and 100,000 t respectively. The mill also targets to roll 203,000 t of HRC with 60,000 t to be shipped to overseas customers. HBI exports are also likely to increase by almost 100,000 t.