We Will Build a New Steel Shop
Regardless of the Steel Crisis
Pascal Genest, CEO and Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors at the Liberty Ostrava steelworks
since December 2019, studied polytechnics (specializing in mathematics and science), is a civil
engineer and holds an MBA. He has worked in the steel industry in various countries of the
world for fourteen years and has been a decision-maker at many steelworks, being responsible for
strategic development and the transformation of businesses. He was previously CEO at a leading
steelwork company in the Middle East. He also has professional experience in the aluminium
industry and private investments.
on imported natural resources, lower CO2 emissions and
enable greater flexibility by allowing us to switch or blend
blast furnace and electric arc furnace steel-making. We are
working hard to expedite and commission both furnaces
by the end of 2022. The new steel shop investment will be
accompanied by a major modernisation of the steel rolling
mills to improve the quality of our products and increase our
proportion of high added value products which are sought
after in our natural markets.
Last year you took over the management of one of the most
important companies in the region. What is your vision for
the development of the company?
I want to make the Ostrava steelworks as competitive and
efficient as possible. The investment of the past years mainly
focused on reducing the environmental footprint with stateof-the-art technologies that have made the company one
of the top performers in Europe in terms of environment.
However, as far as the existing steelmaking manufacturing
technologies are concerned, our technology has become
inefficient. Therefore, as part of the strategic investment plan
we announced in February, we have selected technologies
that will improve that and will build a new steel shop based
around two hybrid furnaces, which will enable us to utilise
higher volumes of local steel scrap to reduce our reliance
Your company invests in innovation and ecology. Will this
continue to be the case and will you also cooperate with
universities in the region?
We remain ambitious for the future of the Ostrava steelworks
in spite of the difficulties the global steelmaking market has
been facing lately due to lower demand, falling prices, unfair
cheap imports due to the very weak protection of the EU
market and the recent COVID-19 lockdown measures. We
look forward to serving our regional Central European steel
market, working closely with our dedicated employees,
as well as the Government, Trade Unions, and other
stakeholders to deliver our ambitious plan for the plant’s
long-term sustainability, aligned to our GREENSTEEL and
carbon neutrality 2030 visions. The strategic investments in
the new steelmaking technology and rolling mills is expected
to reach €750 million over the next ten years, with a major
part of that being invested in the next five years.
We have been a strong, long-term supporter of technical
education in this region as we want to foster future
generations of steel workers. We have also worked for
many years with the VSB – Technical university of Ostrava
in research and development areas, which will now also
include developing technologies and innovations associated
with methanol production and CO2 capture and cleaning.
We know about you that one of your first trips to relax led
to the Jeseníky Mountains. What is your relationship to
the nature, mountains and sports?
I believe that the work-and-life balance is important to our
lives. I like to spend my free time outdoors, playing sports
like tennis in the summer or skiing in winter. Due to the
lockdown I have had the opportunity to discover much of
the beautiful countryside in the Moravian-Silesian Region.
Ostrava and its surroundings offer many opportunities for
sports and mountain tourism, which I have thoroughly
Thank you for the interview.
POSITIV 2/2020 ǀ 31