All the recent talk about the nationalisation of ArcelorMittal's blast furnaces at Florange reminds us of two other recent similar moves. These were;
- The planned creation in Russia of RusSpetsStal in 2007 [see our steel blog]. The new RusSpetsStal Holding was to include the assets of the Red October Steel Works, and possibly also (at one point) the special steel assets of the Cheliabinsk Steel Works [although the Cheliabinsk steel assets never did get taken over in the end]. RusSpetsStal filed for bankruptcy in August 2010. Planned optimisation of performance and expansion of output never happened, as investment in RusSpetsStal did not go to plan.
- The nationalisation of Sidor in Venezuela in 2008. This business – acquired from Techint of Argentina – has seen several changes of senior management in recent years, and reports abound in the international press about failed production targets and lack of investment.
When will the politicians finally learn that they are just no good at running business?