ArcelorMittal steelworks, Bremen. Image: Sina Schuldt/picture alliance via Getty Images
Paris, France: ArcelorMittal, the world's number-two steel maker, has said it will shut down two of its blast furnaces in Europe over high energy prices and lower demand.
Its furnaces in Bremen in northern Germany and near Gijon in northern Spain will cease to operate until further notice at the end of the month, it announced.
"The high cost of gas and electricity are weighing heavily on our competitivity," said ArcelorMittal's CEO for Germany Reiner Blaschek.
The group in a statement on Friday said "low market demand, negative economic perspectives and high CO2 costs in steel production" were also behind the decision to close both sites.
It also mentioned the slowdown in the automobile industry, usually a huge steel buyer.
Energy prices have shot up in Europe since Russia invaded Ukraine in February.
At the end of last year, ArcelorMittal had 16 blast furnaces in Europe.
© Agence France-Presse