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ThyssenKrupp To Delay Production Startup At Alabama Plant

ThyssenKrupp has announced it will delay the planned start of stainless steel production at its $4 billion plant in Alabama. Speaking at the company's annual general meeting on 1/23, company CEO Ekkehard Schulz did not estimate how long the delay would be, but said the drop in demand was the worst he had seen in his 40-year career. "We will set and evaluate priorities, whether it makes more sense to move some investments to a later date," Schulz said. He said production at the plant near Mobile, Alabama, would definitely start later than the originally planned early 2010 target. According to Schulz, ThyssenKrupp was considering overtime cutbacks and shorter working hours among other measures to help it adjust production to flagging demand. Yet, despite those measures, Schulz said the unprecedented economic instability meant he could not rule out "significant cuts" in personnel. He noted the company expected its high-grade steel division to post a loss at the outset of the fiscal year.

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