DÜSSELDORF (dpa-AFX) - Thyssenkrupp CEO Miguel López has reaffirmed the management's intention to take employee interests into account in the planned reduction of steel production capacities in Duisburg. "Our aim is to implement the planned adjustments in the most socially responsible way possible and to avoid compulsory redundancies," he said on Monday evening at an event organized by the Wirtschaftspublizistische Vereinigung in Düsseldorf. "That has always been the case at Thyssenkrupp, and it should stay that way."

In April, Thyssenkrupp Steel announced a significant reduction in capacity in Duisburg, which will also lead to further job cuts. Details are not yet known. IG Metall will only support restructuring if, among other things, redundancies are ruled out and site guarantees are given beyond 2026.

Steel restructuring plan to come "as quickly as possible"

It remains to be seen when the Management Board will present the exact plan. According to López, this should happen "as quickly as possible". "Of course, the business plan - when it is finalized - and everything else will be discussed in detail with the Works Council and the Supervisory Board of Steel Europe," said the CEO of the industrial group.

It is unclear how long the discussion about the plans could then take. "We first have to get into the discussion as soon as the Executive Board has presented us with the plan and then see where the issues are that need to be dealt with more intensively," said López.

Thyssenkrupp CEO: EPCG entry a "milestone"

The manager once again promoted the energy partnership with Czech billionaire Daniel K?etínský's company EPCG. "The coal phase-out in Germany is sealed and we don't have green energy here. At least not in sufficient quantities. We need external partners for this," he said. The 20 percent stake in the steel division agreed in April is a "milestone" on the way to the entrepreneurial independence of steel.

"The cooperation brings together the leading materials know-how of thyssenkrupp Steel with the energy expertise of EPCG." This will help steel to significantly improve its competitiveness. "Together we want to create a high-performance, profitable and future-oriented steel company - in a 50:50 joint venture, the second stage we are aiming for."

López took over as CEO from Martina Merz at the beginning of June 2023. Thyssenkrupp has 100,000 employees worldwide, around 27,000 of whom work in the steel division./tob/DP/mne