Unbreakable as steel: Zaporizhstal is 89 years old

Zaporizhstal celebrates its 89th anniversary on the 266th day of the full-scale war. However, our review will keep you informed about this year for the mill and its staff, the most important challenges and achievements.

The war changed each of us: many Ukrainians went to the front to defend their country, and some found themselves in volunteering and helping people. The war strengthened each of us: we all realized that we were Ukrainians and stood up for the independence of our country. Everyone is fighting on the own front.

Since the beginning of full-scale hostilities and up to now Zaporizhstal Iron and Steel Works of Metinvest Group has continued to work on all fronts: economic, humanitarian and volunteer. Today it is more than a steelmaking enterprise, it is a pillar of Ukraine and Ukrainians.

Stop to recover again

The full-scale invasion of the Russian Federation on the territory of Ukraine, in particular the escalation of hostilities in the Zaporizhzhia region, forced Zaporizhstal in March 2022 to carry out the hot mothballing part of some equipment. The enterprise was on “quiet operation” mode for the first time during World War II. A month later, production capacity was restored, but only by 50% due to the blockade of Ukrainian ports.

Currently, due to logistic limitations, Zaporizhstal continues to operate at 50%, producing commercial pig iron and rolled steel for European consumers. In addition, the enterprise continues to expand its product portfolio. One of such novelties is double-weight weld-free coil for the construction industry, mastering the slabs production for European consumers.

The company improved the safety of the team at workplaces: at the enterprise, 16 bomb shelters were equipped and provided with all necessary issues, the Emergency response plan was worked out, and trainings on providing emergency medical care were conducted for employees.

In October, due to massive enemy attacks on the energy system of Ukraine, the mill implemented a plan to reduce the consumption of purchased electricity in the conditions of current production. The enterprise has defined a list of production facilities that can operate at reduced parameters during the peak period. The production configuration was changed and it was re-focused to the production of merchant pig iron. The operation mode of energy-intensive rolling mills 1150 and 1680 of the Hot Rolling Shop, rolling mills and plants of Cold Rolling Shop has been changed. These steps have already made it possible to reduce energy consumption from the energy system of Ukraine by 15 MW*h. This is a significant support for the energy system of Ukraine.

The humanitarian mission

In addition to the main work on steel production, the Metinvest humanitarian distribution centre is equipped and operates at the enterprise, where hundreds of volunteer workers form survival kits of basic necessities and products.

Humanitarian aid is purchased by businesses and provided from donor partners as part of the “Saving Lives” project, established by Metinvest and DTEK in coordination with the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation. The most vulnerable groups of Ukrainians affected by the war receive these kits. During 8 months of the current year, Zaporizhstal volunteers have collected 554 thousand humanitarian kits, which is almost 3.5 tons of products and basic necessities.

In total, more than 300,000 Ukrainians have already received humanitarian aid from Rinat Akhmetov’s business charity initiative “Saving Lives”.

In rhythm with the city

Zaporizhstal lives and works in rhythm with the city, supporting and protecting its native Zaporizhzhia. From the first days of the war, the mill provided equipment and specialists for the fortification of the region and city, important facilities of civil infrastructure. The steel produced by the mill protects hospitals with a strong curtain of windows and defends checkpoints with anti-tank hedgehogs. Zaporizhstal workers, side by side with rescuers, clear the debris of buildings destroyed by enemy shelling, help in the restoration of damaged houses.

The company provides its support to displaced persons from occupied cities, in particular from Mariupol, Avdiivka and towns of the Zaporizhzhia region. For them, the mill has equipped shelters with everything necessary, and also offers work at the Company’s enterprises in the region, teaches new professions, and provides humanitarian and psychological assistance. Currently, almost 1,000 displaced persons who have taken advantage of the opportunities of the adaptation program and started a new life have been employed at the Group’s enterprises. New workers from temporarily occupied cities are provided with free accommodation, as well as money for arranging their own household.

Assistance to like-minded people

Metinvest and the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation, together with the Ministry of Health, launched a medical assistance program in the cities where the Company’s businesses operate, in particular in Zaporizhzhia. City hospitals systematically receive medicines, tools and equipment from Zaporizhstal that save the lives of civilians and military people. In total, during the war, Metinvest provided the hospitals of Zaporizhzhia, Kryvyi Rih, Kamianske, Pokrovsk and Avdiyivka with medical equipment, medicines and consumables for more than UAH 140 million. In addition, Zaporizhstal together with the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation handed over UAH 20 million of backup power systems to two hospitals in Zaporizhzhia.

Starting from April 2021 and up to now, Zaporizhstal has been providing medical oxygen certified by the Ministry of Health for the needs of hospitals. Due to logistic problems caused by the war, oxygen supplies have decreased, but they are still regular, up to 60 tons of oxygen per month. Since the beginning of the year, more than 1,110 tons of medical oxygen produced at the mill have been supplied to hospitals.

To strengthen Ukraine’s defense capability, Metinvest provides the armed forces with drones, thermal imaging devices, cars, medical equipment and protective structures. During the war, Metinvest in Zaporizhzhia handed over more than 28,000 armour vests equipped with armour plates produced by the Company for the needs of our defenders.

During the full-scale war, Metinvest provided UAH 2.1 billion to support military personnel, civilians and its employees.

To people – with an open heart

Zaporizhstal employees are united not only in production, but also in helping others. There is a large volunteer movement at the enterprise. In their free time, the people of Zaporizhia help displaced people and city residents affected by the war with basic necessities and products. The young people of the mill participate in the city’s volunteer actions – whether it is a donor action, a charity cycling race or collecting literature for libraries. Volunteers also take care of animals from the shelter, provide them with food and attention. This assistance has been extended from the city to entire Zaporizhzhia region.

Zaporizhstal Iron and Steel Works, like each of its employees, aims in its work to strengthen the country’s economic front, protect its hometown and its citizens, and help those who need it most. This unity brings our common Victory closer.

Oleksandr Myronenko, General Director of Zaporizhstal:

– Our enterprise and the Company are a reliable pillar of the State. This principle of peacetime in the conditions of war only strengthened: despite all the difficulties, we keep the country’s economy going, support Ukrainian families, help our defenders, medics, migrants to endure, and Ukraine to win. We will definitely win, united by joint efforts!