• June 11, 2020
  • Press Release

ALVANCE to set up taskforce to explore conversion of the Poitou iron foundry

ALVANCE, owner of the Poitou iron foundry and member of the GFG Alliance, will set up a working group to study the possibilities of repurposing the Poitou iron foundry. ALVANCE will invite industry experts, political stakeholders and trade union representatives to participate in the group whose task will be to identify the potential for conversion of the foundry in order to move the company forward and avoid its closure.

Since its acquisition in 2019, the foundry has suffered from a steady decline in orders from its main customer, which is itself facing a very difficult automotive market. The decline in the diesel car market and the Covid19 pandemic have had unpredictable repercussions on the sector in terms of duration and magnitude – the combined effect was a reduction of almost 75% in orders at the site.

Although discussions with the foundry’s customer are ongoing, the lack of visibility on future orders and the continuing poor outlook for diesel engines means that the company will not be able to continue in its current structure for more than three to four months.

It is in this context that ALVANCE has taken the decision to set up a working group bringing together experts from industry, local and national authorities and the foundry’s trade unions to study how the site could be converted to create new products for the evolving automotive sector and, in so doing, preserve the workforce as far as possible and the industrial skills and know-how they bring with them.

Sanjeev Gupta, Executive Chairman of GFG Alliance, said: “GFG Alliance has built a global business by taking on industrial sites that others have turned their backs on. We have done this because we believe in the value of the industry to society and the skills of the people who work at these sites. We believe that this industrial heritage must be preserved for the benefit of our generation and those to come. That’s why we are establishing this task force.

“We have made it clear that the recent crisis in the automotive sector has made the foundry unviable in its current form. However, before making a decision that would result in the closure of the site, we want to explore what other uses could be made of the plant and how the considerable skills and expertise of the people who work there could be transformed to create products that are and will continue to be in demand over the long term.”

Over the next six weeks, the working group’s task will be to identify and define viable and sustainable alternative diversification options for the business, including the possibilities offered by the addition of new industrial activities on the site.

The Managing Director of Cast Products Poitou, Guy Jansen, added: “It is our hope that staff representatives will accept the invitation to contribute to this working group, as we believe that nobody knows the site, its employees and the skills they possess better than they do. We are very aware that it will not be easy to find new markets and sufficient volumes to make the plant viable again, but we hope that by working in partnership and investing in the future of the company, we can find a sustainable solution for the site and those who work there.”

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