Primetals Technologies receives FAC for blooming mill at Acciaierie Venete in Italy

  • Greater cross-section reduction cuts conversion costs
  • Mill processes up to 110 metric tons of blooms per hour
  • New line entirely or partly dispenses with downstream processing steps

Acciaierie Venete S.p.A. has issued the Final Acceptance Certificate (FAC) for a blooming mill extensively modernized by Primetals Technologies at its Camin, Italy location. Within the scope of this project, a new blooming stand including ancillary system was installed and integrated into the existing line. The production capacity is up to 110 metric tons per hour. The main aim of the project was to improve the quality of blooms with the option of entirely or partly dispensing with downstream processing steps. The project was handled on a turnkey basis, and its value was in the low double-digit millions Euro range.

Acciaierie Venete is a private manufacturer of rods and profiles made of carbon and high-grade steels that has several production facilities in Italy. The company’s headquarters is in Camin in the province of Padua. Acciaierie Venete produces around 1.5 million tons of steel every year. The new blooming mill at the Camin steelworks allows for greater reduction of cross-sections throughout the rolling process. This improves the metallurgical properties of end products. As a result, additional processing steps such as forging can be dispensed with either in whole or in part. This means that although the specific conversion costs are lower in total, steel grades as required in particular by the automobile industry or manufacturers of wind turbines can still be produced.

Primetals Technologies installed the blooming line from the exit point of the new bloom caster. From there, a transfer crane transports the blooms either to the run-in roller table of the new reheating furnace or to the cooling bed. This is realized as a walking beam system and is able to provide different cooling profiles for specific products. Roller tables equipped with elevating and rotating fixtures feed the reheating furnace with the capability of hot charging. As a special feature, the reheating furnace has two exits. This ensured the supply of ingoing material to the existing continuous rolling line during the construction of the new blooming line.

A high-pressure descaler was installed between the furnace and the blooming mill. The blooming mill itself is conceived as a duo reversing blooming stand with transverse sliding movement for pass change. It features an inline quick-change system for simple and fast replacement of rolls and chocks. The rolls have a length of 1,500 millimeters and a diameter of 1,060 millimeters. Per hour, the blooming stand can process around 110 tons of blooms with a weight of up to ten tons and diameters of between 350 and 600 millimeters. Products with square cross-sections of 180×180, 240×240 and 280×280 millimeters and round stock with diameters between 180 and 315 millimeters are rolled from carbon and quality steels, and cropped by a hydraulic shear. A roller table to the existing continuous long product rolling mill completes the blooming line’s mechanical equipment. The scope of delivery also included the electrical, drive and automation technology, including medium-voltage transformers for the blooming stand, AC main drives including two motors with a power output of 1,800 kilowatts each, AC auxiliary drives, the complete level 1 automation, mechatronic components and a CCTV system.

Primetals Technologies was also responsible for the installation and commissioning and for customer training. Primetals Technologies also assisted the customer in obtaining the required safety certification for the machines and the plant in compliance with Italian and European regulations.

Source: Primetals

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WEAK MARKET FUNDAMENTALS KEEP STAINLESS STEEL PRICES IN CHECK

Stainless steel market activity remains subdued, around the world. Prices are quite stable. Transaction values, particularly for grade 304 material, edged upwards, in some countries, this month, as a result of the increase in LME nickel figures between April and May. Most European producers’ alloy surcharges, for type 316 products, were reduced in June, as molybdenum costs maintained their downward trend.

Consumption is sluggish, in all regions. On the positive side, car makers continue to record strong sales, while there are signs of increased building and construction activity in many developed countries. Meanwhile, the persistently low oil price has led to severely reduced investment in exploration projects. Sales volumes to the general manufacturing sector are yet to show any indication of the recovery that has been anticipated for some time. Speculators are cautious, especially in Europe, as they await some resolution of the Greek debt crisis.

Nevertheless, we have seen some small signs of encouragement. Basis values for coil products are too low to be sustainable, in the long term. Consequently, European producers have made clear their requirement for better returns on material for delivery after the summer vacation period. We have reports of some increases being agreed by buyers, already, and there are indications of further advances in the near future.

The medium-term outlook for nickel pricing is a matter on which market observers are not universally agreed. Many had predicted that, driven by the impact of the Indonesian ore export ban, global supply would slip into deficit by the middle of 2015. The prospect of this situation was expected to have an inflationary effect on nickel values.

In fact, a combination of weaker than anticipated demand and the utilisation of alternative raw material sources, by Chinese nickel pig iron producers, kept supply in surplus. As a result, commodity prices for the metal have been on a downward curve since the beginning of the year.

Nonetheless, miners and market analysts alike believe that most of the factors required for a supply deficit are falling into place. Consequently, nickel values are forecast to increase, steadily, over the coming twelve months.

Source: MEPS – Stainless Steel Review – June Issue

DEVELOPING MARKETS HIGHLIGHTS – FROM MEPS INTERNATIONAL LTD

Brazilian steelmakers have begun to lower production targets in reaction to weak underlying demand, high inventory levels and negative price sentiment. The Instituto Aço Brasil (IABr) has reported that finished steel sales in the home market during May totalled 1.49 million tonnes – down 1.3 percent, compared with the previous month’s figure. Meanwhile, the Brazilian flat steel distributor association, INDA, has indicated that imports of flat steel products totalled 175,757 tonnes – a fall of 19.6 percent.

The outlook for the Russian steel market is unchanged. Domestic steelmakers have delayed releasing their preliminary July basis quotations for both flat and long finished steel products.

Ukrainian trading houses remain bearish about the prospects for domestic steel consumption in the remainder of 2015. However, the local association of metal producers, Metallurgprom, has forecast that crude steel production in July will total 2.3 million tonnes – up 5.6 percent compared with May’s output figure.

Buying activity has slowed in Turkey. End-users have begun to press for lower prices, in view of the downward movement being witnessed in other global steel markets.

The trading environment has weakened in the United Arab Emirates. Stockists do not expect to witness a recovery until after the Eid holidays, which mark the end of the Ramadan festival. Local steel producers have also faced stiff price competition from Chinese, Indian and CIS suppliers.

In South Africa, deliveries to downstream steel consuming industries have slowed, amid negative price expectations and weak underlying demand growth. The South African Iron & Steel Institute (SAISI) has stated that imports of finished carbon and alloy steel products totalled 101,188 tonnes in April – down 28.7 percent, month-on-month.

Source: MEPS – Developing Markets Steel Review – June Edition

GERMAN STEEL PRICE ROUNDUP FROM MEPS INTERNATIONAL LTD

Many German hot rolled coil customers, especially the service centres, are asking for discounts on selling figures, according to MEPS. Distributors are still struggling with low resale prices because of overcapacity in that sector. The quantities of Russian material have reduced but there is more competition from Brazilian mills.

Hot rolled plate distributors are competing fiercely for business as they continue to try to reduce their overblown stocks, ahead of the summer vacation. Meanwhile, cold rolled coil domestic basis numbers have fallen, marginally. Demand for auto sheet remains good and sales to the general market are satisfactory. However, distributors are struggling to make decent margins.

There are competitively-priced third country galvanised coil import offers in the thinner gauges. Domestic figures have declined. The auto sector continues to perform well but the carmakers will still try to negotiate price cuts for second half, 2015 contracts, citing the mills’ lower outlay on raw materials. Construction-related demand has not really recovered during the spring.

During recent negotiations for sales of low carbon wire rod, German producers have maintained the modest rise they secured in May. Recoil values are unmoved this month. Buying activity is weak.

Activity in the structural sections market has not fully recovered, where steelmakers have failed to secure the proposed hike. There is strong competition for the business available. rebar customers are purchasing only minimum requirements. Consequently, demand is slow. The small advance, implemented last month, remains in place.

Source: MEPS – European Steel Review – June Issue

Outokumpu completes the ramp down of the Bochum melt shop

OUTOKUMPU OYJ
PRESS RELEASE
June 23, 2015 at 4.00 pm EET

Outokumpu announced today that the Bochum melt shop ramp down in Germany has been completed. The last melt was marked with a ceremony honoring the over 100 years of stainless steel operations in Bochum that now ended.

Said Outokumpu Senior Vice President Coil EMEA – Business Line Nirosta Oliver Picht: “Today is naturally a sad occasion, marking the end of an era of stainless steel production in Bochum, but a necessary measure to balance our production capacity in Europe. I would like to express my gratitude to the entire Bochum staff for their work and commitment, especially over the last two years. For us it was extremely important to find good, alternative employment and solutions for all employees, so that no one had to be made redundant.”

The ramp down of the Bochum melt shop and the closure of Krefeld melt shop in 2013 were both key elements in the significant industrial restructuring and achieving the synergies following the merger of Outokumpu and Inoxum. Furthermore, it is fundamental to the turnaround of Coil EMEA. The positive financial impact of Bochum melt shop ramp down are more than 30 million annually from 2016 onwards and around 20 million euro of savings visible already in the second half of 2015.The  Bochum closure is part of the EMEA restructuring program in Europe that targets 100 million euro savings by the end of 2017.

Outokumpu continues its strong presence in Germany, with around 2,500 employees, a high class cold rolling center in Krefeld that produces premium tailored materials for the most demanding end-customer segments, as well as cold rolling and finishing plants in Benrath, Dahlerbrück and Dillenburg. Outokumpu is investing more than a 100 million euro into the cold rolling operations in Krefeld to enhance its ferritic capabilities and enable the planned closure of the Benrath site in 2016. Additionally, further investments will be made into the R&D center in Krefeld.

Source: Outokumpu Group

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ITALIAN STEEL PRICE ROUNDUP FROM MEPS INTERNATIONAL LTD

In Italy demand for hot rolled coil is subdued as a result of competition from very attractive third country offers. Despite disruptions to Ilva’s production, local basis numbers have declined, in June.

Hot rolled plate can be obtained within two weeks from local rerollers. Sales are slow. Overseas suppliers have cut their price offers to try and stimulate more orders.Internal overcapacity is depressing prices in the coated coil market. The performance of the vehicle manufacturers has progressed well. No recovery is envisaged in construction investment in the near term.

Very little business is being transacted in the wire rod market. Scrap costs have reduced and are placing negative pressure on steel selling figures. Meanwhile, purchasing activity is slow for rebar. The lack of building work persists. After agreeing to a scrap-related hike in May, customers have successfully negotiated a discount in June, now that the raw material is cheaper.

Source: MEPS – European Steel Review – June Issue