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Australia’s BlueScope cutting cold-roll, coated steel output

Keywords: Tags  Bluescope, Western Port, Mark Vassella, steel, Steel First, Weilyn Loo

SINGAPORE — Australian steelmaker BlueScope Steel Ltd. will reduce production of cold-rolled, metal-coated and painted steel at its Western Port facility in a bid to cut costs amid lackluster demand.

"We will keep all currently operating lines and assets open at Western Port to provide flexibility and allow for additional throughput when demand improves," Mark Vassella, chief executive officer of BlueScope’s Australian and New Zealand operations, said in a statement Jan. 14.

The cut in production levels is expected to commence around mid-March. The move will have little or no impact on existing supply arrangements for the company’s domestic customers, BlueScope said.

As part of the restructuring, about 110 employees and 60 contractors will lose their jobs over the coming months, Vassella said.

The cost to implement this change is estimated at around Australian $17 million ($17.9 million), but it will be recovered within one year through ongoing improvements to the operating cost base, he said.

BlueScope will start the consultation phase with employees and union representatives to best manage the transition, it said.

To assist employees in affected areas, a range of flexible options will be provided. This includes the offer of voluntary redundancy, a job substitution process and outplacement services through a dedicated job center, the company said.

A version of this article was first published by AMM sister publication Steel First.

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