Glencore, its industrial partner, is withdrawing and looking for a buyer.
The Nord plant is now shut down for the next six months. The furnaces will no longer be producing. Glencore, the industrial partner (49%) of the KNS plant, has announced that it is withdrawing. It will continue to pay the salaries of the 1,200 employees during this period. In its press release, Glencore’s management explained that the plant had never been profitable and that it was now looking for a buyer. Glencore is associated in the plant with the Caledonian company SMSP.
Nickel prices have fallen sharply
In recent months, the global trading giant had been in negotiations with the French government. The latter had offered to support KNS to the tune of 200 million euros (24 billion Pacific francs). Glencore broke off negotiations.
Nickel prices have plummeted in recent weeks due to the abundant supply of nickel on the world market. Experts are unanimous in saying that prices will remain low for around three years.
The Chinese in the running
This announcement comes as no surprise. The SMSP and Glencore have been discussing this solution for almost two years. Glencore will take on all the plant’s debt, which is worth around $13 billion.
Two Chinese candidates are said to be in the running. Will the French government accept the Chinese solution? Wouldn’t this contradict