CARACAS, Friday September 10, 2010 | Update
Losses at Sidor estimated at USD 815,907,872 ending this year

Despite relaxed electricity cuts, output in August was 28 percent lower

Workers expect to operate the plant from September 9, with a higher electrical input (File Photo)
Friday September 10, 2010  05:21 PM

While electricity rationing was discontinued at Siderúrgica del Orinoco (Sidor), almost one month ago, the balance in production, sales and income at the iron and steel maker ending this year will be mirrored in its financial statement.

"In August, an output of 177,000 tons was recorded, below 69,000 tons, that is -28 percent, the same term in 2009, and lower by 178,000 tons (-50 percent) than the output in that term in 2008," said Pedro Acuña, the senior director at the board of the company in representation of class "B" stockholders.

"As stated by his management in a meeting of the board of directors, it is anticipated that ending 2010, production will amount to 2.1 million tons of liquid steel, resulting in more than USD 815,907,872 in losses," he added.

In addition, the director said, "in 2007, Sidor averaged an output of 359,000 tons of liquid steel a month, dropped to 298,000 tons in 2008, continued shrinking to 257,000 tons a month in 2009 and this year it barely stands at 131,000 tons a month."

"The plant," he said, "accumulates in the period of January-August a production of liquid steel of 915,000 tons, lower by almost two million tons, compared with the volume recorded in the same term in 2007."

Acuña warned that in August, "the weighted minimum FOB price of the mixture of steel products in the global market neared USD 750 per ton, higher by USD 135 than the baseline in the same term in 2009, and higher by USD 68 than the average in 2007. During that fiscal year, Sidor apportioned among stockholders earnings for USD 702 million."

2011 Goals
"As from September 9 we will start operations with expanded electricity capacity because the water level at Guri dam has recovered and because of the progress made in the installation of a thermoelectric station, which will provide 440 MG to the industry," Orlando Pagé, a worker at the iron and steel maker, told AVN.

The government-run news agency noted that by 2011, the output target at the factory is more optimistic, as a production at 3.5 million tons of liquid steel is expected.

Impossible to accomplish
José Luis Alcócer, a director of Movement Unidad Matancera, referred himself to the remarks made by Minister of Basic Industries and Mining (Mibam) José Khan, when making renewed estimates of the iron and steel production apropos the water relief at Guri dam. On that occasion, the minister said that production ending the year could be as high as 2.8 million tons of liquid steel.

In this regard, the economist thinks that such a projection is "impossible to accomplish." "The current corporate management does not supply the necessary funds and budget to buy input and spare parts, and this is what has curbed the production rate desired by us and desired, not only by workers, but by the whole community, because we provide here quality of life for the Venezuelan society."

"No matter how much water there is at Guri, there is in Sidor a clear management problem," Alcócer admonished.

Translated by Conchita Delgado

The end of a cycle

Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Brazil on March 13 to demand the ouster of embattled President Dilma Rousseff, carrying banners expressing anger at bribery scandals and economic woes. A banner read "We don't want a new Venezuela in Brazil." Estampas
Alianzas Estampas