BlueScope rebuffs Illawarra steelworks closure report

BlueScope Steel has rebuffed media reports it would shut down its Port Kembla Steelworks to reduce costs.

The Illawarra Mercury reported on Wednesday morning that unions were meeting with BlueScope after it was revealed the Port Kembla Steelworks might close, putting up to 1000 jobs directly at risk.

“BlueScope notes media speculation this morning that a decision has been taken that steelmaking at Port Kembla will close. No such decision has been made”, BlueScope said in a statement.

However, the steel giant admitted the Illawarra steel-making plant is being reviewed to improve competitiveness and “better serve our customers”.

“The global steel sector is continuing to change and we must adapt with it. Our costs of manufacturing steel are too high and we are seeking a game-changing approach that will significantly reduce costs. These issues are being discussed as part of the current Enterprise Agreement negotiations at Port Kembla.”

“Bluescope must maintain an internationally competitive steelmaking business that will support reinvestment.”