US News: ASCOVAL. The new owner renounces transferring part of the activity to Germany

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L'activité de l'usine Ascoval ne sera pas délocalisée en Allemagne dans l'immédiat. © Pascal Rossignol / Reuters The activity of the ASCOVAL plant will not be relocated in Germany in the immediate future.

The fears of the employees of the St. Saulve ASCOVAL plant on a possible transfer of activity in Germany were swept after a meeting at the Ministry of the Economy. The new owner, Saarstahl, decided to give up his project.

The German owner of the iconic ASCOVAL factory of Sainte-Saulve (North) has given up a part of its activity into Germany , announced Thursday evening Bercy after mobilizing to avoid a setback at five months of the presidential election.

Following a meeting Thursday evening at the Ministry of the Economy with SAARSTAHL , following several other meetings, "Saarstahl said its agreement to give up its project to transfer ASCOVAL activity to its German site, "said AFP the cabinet of the Minister's delegate, Agnès Pannier-Runacher.

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This announcement seems to close a two-day sequence in which the opposition is engulfed.

Wednesday, the representatives of the CGT and CFDTs of the site bought four months ago by Saarstahl, German steel group, had stated that the steel mill could see 40% of its production temporarily transferred to Germany.

At issue: The rise in electricity prices that feeds the site at the forefront of environmental matters.

Saarstahl had not confirmed, claiming to have taken "no decision", but recognized that he studied "temporary options" to "limit the negative effects" of this rise, when his blast furnaces in Germany turn coal, much cheaper.

The government quickly reacted, after several years of mobilization to save the site and again a recent loan of 20 million euros at the beginning of the year to pay the wages.

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The Minister of the Economy Bruno The Mayor had said Thursday morning that it was "no question" that the steel mill goes its relocated "definitively" activity in Germany .

reminding it had been "beat with great energy" to save this plant employing 270 employees and producing steel bars dedicated to the manufacture of rails, especially for the SNCF, and finding a buyer, he had assured that the government did not intend to "drop it".

"We are working on solutions," he added.

to believe Bercy, the combat-bottoms has even started "several weeks" to alleviate the costs of companies affected by the rise in energy prices, including the announcement in early November of aid. To the most electricity consuming companies, including ASCOVAL.

"scandalous" offshoring

The political reactions had not launched, in full electoral precamp, as the government has made the reindustrialisation and the decarbonation of the industry one of its priority objectives.

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From Wednesday, the member of the North and Communist candidate for Presidential Fabien Roussel had written to Bruno the Mayor to ask him to "intervene without delay".

The candidates for the investiture of the Republicans Valérie Pécresse and Xavier Bertrand were also mounted in the niche, the first castigating a relocation "scandalous and ubuesque, especially a few days after the Glasgow Cop26".

This threat fell badly for the executive which shows the ambition to make France a land of industrial and decarbonated production, thanks to a weakly transmitting nuclear electricity in CO2.

"The Government must access Ascoval's demand on the electricity tariff," said Thursday Xavier Bertrand, the current President of the Hauts-de-France Region, on the sidelines of a session of the regional Council.

"When you want, we can. The President of the Republic comes tomorrow in the region? Well, it is necessary that itself brings the answer very clearly, "added Xavier Bertrand, while Emmanuel Macron goes to the North and Aisne Friday for a displacement on the theme of territorial development.

The subject is sensitive, both the fate of Ascoval mobilized the Government and Emmanuel Macron in recent years, both as Minister of the Economy under François Hollande, then since his arrival at the Elysee.

When buying by the German steel group, validated in August last August, Bruno the mayor had hailed "a very good news for the future of the French steel industry and for employees".

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