Forge still waiting to fire up

Contrary to perhaps overly ambitious promises upon the widely hailed takeover rescue of Liepāja’s steel-making plant Liepājas metalurgs, the forges themselves are still frozen solid in the early season frosty weather and hundreds of workers continue to shiver in the ongoing uncertainty of unemployment.

Spokespersons for the new owners, KVV Group managed to assure the public the transaction is still in its final stages of closure, with certain legal formalities remaining to be resolved.

Ojārs who managed to retain an active position maintaining equipment at the mothballed plant , unlike many of his former and current colleagues, is still unsure when the enterprise will fire up into life again.

“What happens next I don’t know. We’re okay here, but the ones who were recruited to start and are now in a holding pattern, they are in a tight spot. I know people who gave up work in October, ready to come back here, now they’re unemployed,” the electric steel-melting department worker related.

To clarify, Ojārs’ work consists now more of treating the effects of idle equipment in sub-zero weather, which is dangerous to the upkeep.

Meanwhile, the documents finalizing the sale of the shuttered steel plant remain to be brought to complete order, KVV Group representative Inese Ozoliņa explained.

According to unofficial sources cited in the media, alleged claims from creditor client Elme Messer Metalurgs for oxygen supplies provided as a necessary part of the steel-forging process have held up the deal for its demand that losses and additional expenses caused by the shut-down be duly covered.

Ozoliņa insisted that was not the reason for the delay in resuming works, however.

“We’ve said that by the end of the year we would relaunch the factory at 35 thousand tonnes a month with about 500 employees. We can do without the oxygen for now to get part of the operations up and running,” she said.

She gave the restart at the massive manufacturing facility, or at least a part of it, about a three-week timeline, depending on whether the KVV Group actually takes over the shares as expected in nearing days.

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