Mr Montebourg cited the shutdown of blast furnaces in Florange, eastern France, as one of the reasons.
Press statement: "Arcelormittal agreed in good faith that the government could try to find a buyer for the liquid phase of the Florange site, including the coke battery. As we have informed the government, individual sites do not operate in isolation and Arcelormittal's plans for the remaining parts of Florange are integrated with the rest of its business in France and Europe. We will continue to supply the cold phase with slab from Dunkerque. In turn the cold phase in Florange supplies some of our biggest clients, particularly in the automotive sector, with high value-added products. Any sale of the cold phase in Florange would jeopardise the viability of the rest of Arcelormittal’s operations in France, which employ 20,000 people. We have a responsibility to our employees, customers and other stakeholders in France and elsewhere to operate the most efficient industrial chain possible."