Belarusian Steel Works

OJSC Belarusian Steel Works (Russian: ОАО Белорусский металлургический завод, Belarusian: Беларускі металургічны завод, "БМЗ", BMZ) is a Belarusian company operating in the steel industry, centred in Zhlobin, Gomel Region. The main raw material of the enterprise is scrap. The company's products range from concast square steel billets, hot rolled round & square steel bars, rebars, hot rolled seamless pipe, high carbon wire rod, tyre steel cord, bead wire, hose wire, general purpose wire, to steel fiber.[1] In 2020—2021, the company fired several employees trying to organize a strike during protests in Belarus, three of them were imprisoned.

OJSC Belarusian Steel Works
Company typeOJSC
HeadquartersZhlobin, Republic of Belarus
Area served
Key people
Anatoly Savenok (General Director)
ProductsSteel, metalware, pipe, tube, bloom, rebar, cord, fiber
RevenueIncrease US$ 1,1 billion (2009)
Total assets5,475,515,000 Belarusian ruble (2021) Edit this on Wikidata
Number of employees
12,380 (2010)

History edit

Belarusian Steel Works (BMZ) was constructed in accordance with the USSR Ministers Council decree to provide Belarusian enterprises with the bars in order to utilize local scrap.[2]

The task for the plant working out was confirmed by the USSR Ministry of Ferrous Metallurgy in November 19, 1982. In 1982 there was signed a contract with the Austrian firm Voestalpine for designing and " on key-basis " erecting of the metallurgical plant and all the necessary constructions for the annual output of 500 000 mt bars and 200 000 mt carbon and low alloyed concast billets.

The main sub-contractor was an Italian film Danieli. More than 30 firms of West Germany, Sweden, Italy, Hungary, took part in working out the project, equipment supply and erecting the plsnt.

At present[when?] the plant has a capacity of 1,100,000 mt of steel, 250,000 mt of structural rolled product and 500,000 mt of bars. The major items of production consist of rebar, billet, channel, wire rod and cold heading wire rod. More than 50 alloyed and low-alloyed structural and carbon steel grades are produced by the plant. Two steel cord shops produce 50,000 mt of steel cord, 10,000 mt of brass bead wire and 10,000 mt of hose wire annually. Basic funds cost of the plant is 1,700,000,000 rubles.

The pace of investment growth in 2011 at the BMZ in 2010 decreased significantly. First Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus Vladimir Semashko criticized the Belarusian Steel Works, which had failed to implement any large-scale investment projects for the last three years.[3]

Mismanagement and financial problems edit

In July 2011 the Committee for State Security (KGB) had arrested BMZ former Director General Mikalay Andryyanaw; Alyaksey Nikifaraw, the active deputy director general in charge of economy and finance; and an aide to the director general.

According to some sources of information, the arrests were made after Alexander Lukashenko's meeting with BMZ Director General Mikhail Savyanok. “It is most likely that Savyanok shifted the blame for BMZ’s economic problems onto the preceding management,” the report said, noting that KGB chief Vadim Zaitsev had been present at Lukashenko’s meeting with the BMZ director general.

In July 2011 Belarusian Steel Works (BMZ) released a statement to deny reports that the company has been struggling to meet government-set performance targets. In the statement, the steel giant says that in the first half of this year its output increased year-on-year by 5.5 percent to 1,281,952 tons. The company's fixed capital expenditures topped 90 billion rubles, while a target of 64 billion rubles had been set. The profitability of sales totalled 12 percent, and exports exceeded imports by $272 million.

In January 2012 the Belarusian Steel Works was reorganized into a joint stock company.

In early 2021, Nasha Niva newspaper claimed that BMZ is close to default.[4] According to Nasha Niva, in 2021 BMZ transferred part of his debt to the Ministry of finance, which simultaneously issued foreign currency bonds worth 619 million USD. These measures were taken non-publicly by a decree of Alexander Lukashenko, being not published to public.[5][6]

Political repressions, labour rights issues edit

During the 2020 Belarusian protests it was reported that the workers of the factory announced in a statement to the management that "in the eventuality of unfair elections, the workers will strike on August 10, 11 and 12", after which a part of the factory went on strike. Reportedly, riot police soon arrived at the plant.[7][8][9][10] This was denied by the state-controlled Belta news agency.[11]

On 1 February 2021, Zhlobin local court sentenced three BMZ employees to 3 and 2.5 years of prison. These employees were convicted under article 342 of the Criminal Code of Belarus ("Organizing illegal group actions that grossly violate public order and disobey the legal requirements of the government officials"). They were also fined 1088 BYN (~400 USD) of material damage to BMZ for stopping the steel smelting by the induction furnaces. A fourth striker managed to left Belarus and was declared wanted by Belarusian authorities.[12] Two of the imprisoned workers were later recognized as political prisoners by Belarusian human rights activists.[13] At least two other employees were fired immediately after declaring participation in a strike.[14][15] In January 2021, two employees of BMZ were fired after trying to create an independent trade union branch on the factory.[16]

In June 2021, Sweden's Scandia Steel was reported to cut cooperation with BMZ due to labour rights violations.[17] Michelin, another international business partner of BMZ, ordered an independent audit of labour rights at BMZ.[18]

International sanctions edit

In May 2023, the BMZ was blacklisted by Ukraine.[19]

In August 2023, the company was added to the sanctions list of the European Union.[20] In the same month, Switzerland,[21] North Macedonia, Montenegro, Albania, Ukraine, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway[22] joined these sanctions. Also since August 2023, BMZ, the general director of the plant, Dmitry Korchik, and the company associated with the plant, BEL-KAP-STEEL, are on the US sanctions list.[23]

Production Union "Belarusian steel works" edit

Production Union "Belarusian Steel Works" was organized in 2006 by decree of the Ministry of Industry. It includes these companies:

  • OJSC Mogilev Metallurgical works
  • JSC Rechytsa Metizny Plant

International offices edit

Outside of Belarus, the interests of BMZ are represented by 8 joint ventures in Germany, Austria, United States, China, Lithuania, Czech Republic and Russia:

  • Belastahl Außenhandel GmbH
  • BELMET Handelsgesellschaft mbH
  • Bel–Kap–Steel LLC
  • Belmet (Shanghai) Trading Co., Ltd
  • OOO Torgovyi dom BMZ, Russia, St. Petersburg
  • OOO Torgovyi dom BMZ, Russia, Moscow
  • ZAO Torgovyi dom BMZ - Baltiya
  • BMZ Polska Sp. z o.o., Czech Branch

References edit

  1. ^ "Open Joint-Stock Company «Belarusian Steel Works". Retrieved 25 March 2020.
  2. ^ L. Selivanovskikh (2018). "Belarus: Moving Forward". In Latukha, Marina (ed.). Talent Management in Global Organizations: A Cross-Country Perspective. Springer. ISBN 9783319764184.
  3. ^ "Semashko: There's Money in the World - One should Take it". 2 February 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-02-05.
  4. ^ БМЗ грозит дефолт, который может вызвать цепную реакцию
  5. ^ Чтобы спасти БМЗ, Минфин продал банкам валютных облигаций на $619 миллионов
  6. ^ ""Любой поставщик должен закладывать в цену риск принятия судом такого решения". Кредиторы БМЗ в печали". Archived from the original on 2021-02-26. Retrieved 2021-02-26.
  7. ^ "Беларусь головного мозга". Telegram. Retrieved 2020-08-12.
  8. ^ "Belarus Plant Workers Go on Strike After Contested Vote – Reports". The Moscow Times. 2020-08-10. Retrieved 2020-08-12.
  9. ^ "Strike reported at Byelorussian Steel Works plant". 2020-08-10. Archived from the original on 2020-08-11. Retrieved 2020-08-12.
  10. ^ "СМИ сообщили о забастовке на Белорусском металлургическом заводе". (in Russian). 2020-08-10. Retrieved 2020-08-12.
  11. ^ "No strike in progress at Belarusian steel mill BMZ". 2020-08-10. Retrieved 2020-08-12.
  12. ^ "Суд вынес решение по делу о забастовке на БМЗ, когда на заводе остановились печи". Archived from the original on 2021-02-13. Retrieved 2021-02-26.
  13. ^ "Еще четырех человек признали политзаключенными. В том числе рабочих БМЗ, осужденных за забастовку". Archived from the original on 2021-02-13. Retrieved 2021-02-27.
  14. ^ ""Устал от несправедливости и беззакония". Двое рабочих БМЗ объявили о забастовке". Archived from the original on 2020-11-20. Retrieved 2021-02-26.
  15. ^ В Жлобине работника БМЗ уволили через 12 часов после заявления о вступлении в стачку
  16. ^ "Двух работников крупного предприятия, которые пытались создать независимый профсоюз, уволили". Archived from the original on 2021-02-20. Retrieved 2021-02-26.
  17. ^ Scandia Steel to review cooperation with Belarusian Steel Works over violations of workers’ rights - BelSat, 20 June 2021
  18. ^ Michelin папрасіла правесьці незалежны аўдыт парушэньня правоў рабочых на БМЗ [Michelin asked to conduct an independent audit of labour rights violations at BMZ] - Radio Svaboda, 2 June 2021
  19. ^ "Open Joint Stock Company "Belarusian Metallurgical Plant - Management Company of the Holding "Belarusian Metallurgical Company"". National Agency on Corruption Prevention.
  20. ^ "EU imposes personal sanctions on Belarus's BMZ, Belneftekhim". Interfax. August 3, 2023.
  21. ^ "Ukraine: Switzerland implements new sanctions against Belarus". Federal Council. 2023-08-30.
  22. ^ "Statement by the High Representative on behalf of the EU on the alignment of certain countries concerning restrictive measures in view of the situation in Belarus and the involvement of Belarus in the Russian aggression against Ukraine". Council of the European Union. 2023-08-21.
  23. ^ "U.S. Expands Sanctions on the Belarusian Regime, Marking the Three-Year Anniversary of the Fraudulent August 2020 Presidential Election". United States Department of the Treasury. August 9, 2023.


External links edit