LONDON (Reuters) – Nyrstar’s Auby zinc operations in northern France will resume production at reduced capacity in the coming weeks after being put on care and maintenance in January in response to high prices electricity, announced the company listed in Belgium.
Production cuts in Europe, supply concerns and shortages pushed zinc prices on the London Metal Exchange to a record high of $4,896 a tonne earlier this month.
“The restart of Auby provides Nyrstar with greater flexibility to effectively manage the group’s production across its three European sites, with planned total production reductions of up to 50%,” Nyrstar said.
“Electricity prices in Europe remain at historically high levels, meaning it is not economically feasible to operate any of our sites at full capacity.”
Last October, Nyrstar cut production by up to 50% at its three European zinc smelters – Budel in the Netherlands and Balen in Belgium as well as Auby – due to soaring electricity prices.
According to metals industry sources, Nyrstar has the capacity to produce 720,000 tonnes of zinc in Europe, of which 300,000 at Budel.
Europe accounts for around 15% of global zinc supplies estimated at around 14 million tonnes this year.
(Reporting by Pratima Desai and Zandi Shabalala; Editing by David Holmes)