The information came this Monday, February 12, that the KNS nickel plant in Wauwatu is being mothballed. Nothing comes out of the oven for the next six months. The time has come for Glencore to sell its 49% stake in the company. Reactions were quick.
The announcement came yesterday: the KNS factory will indeed be mothballed. The threat had already been visible for several weeks. Indiscretion by the distribution of an internal note signed by the president and then the official press release of the businessman confirmed it yesterday, Monday February 12: the Nord factory will no longer produce nickel for the next six months and the main shareholder will withdraw. Time to find a successor to Glencore, the 49% shareholder and major financier of the industrial complex.
An ad that did not fail to provoke a reaction.
In these first local reactions, Victor Tutugoroni.
“This is not great news but we have been expecting it since September when KNS indicated that they were in a position to access credit and things were not positive today given the nickel environment.” indicates 3m Vice President of Northern Province. “So yes, we expected bad news but not of this magnitude. For those of us with multiple jobs on Koniambo, the tool was a rebalancing tool. I have no doubt that the province and shareholders will look for a buyer to continue, to ensure that this instrument continues to work and bring about the rebalancing results expected by the entire population.”
Note that salaried employment will be retained for the next six months.
On the part of the Rassemblement-les Républicains, we also regret “Loss of a major industrial production tool, a symbol of rebalancing“. The rally calls on all political leaders in charge of the file, mainly from the northern provinces, to quickly find a new shareholder to support the northern factory.
a”A hard blow to all Caledonians“Its part expresses grief for Générations NC for whom this closure of the northern factory will affect 1,800 people. Générations NC says “Committed to working with all stakeholders to find a credible buyer within 6 months“
Also solidarity with employees and subcontractors of KNS, Nikolaus Metzdorf. Deputy of 2m Constituency promises that in their functions as a Caledonian elected official, they will apply “All (his) forces, to be as useful as possible to maintain jobs and economic activity in the North (…) We will not relax our efforts until activity is fully resumed”
Another reaction, this time at the state level, from the office of the Minister of Economy and Finance, Bruno Le Maire. Glencore’s reaction during a press briefing held in Paris minutes after the announcement. Bruno Le Maire’s cabinet assures that France “support“Searching for Buyers for KNS Factory.”Producers must take financial risk in this operation“, recalling the Ministry’s office, “Exceptional support“Already brought to KNS, for which”It is not possible to go beyond that“. Aid of 24 billion CFP francs was announced last week.