ArcelorMittal invests €96m in Florange and Dunkerque

In Florange, eastern France, €67m will be invested in a new production line for automotive steels. This project is part of the company’s strategy to have a centre of excellence for automotive steels production in the Lorraine region: Florange and Mouzon in France, and Dudelange in Luxembourg.

The investment will see the construction of a new 600,000 tonne Usibor® line in Florange, which will be operational by mid-2019 and is expected to employ 75 people of which 20 will be newly created jobs. This line will be dedicated to producing advanced high strength steels (AHSS) for the automotive industry and will replace the current electro-galvanising line.

The new line, which will be integrated with a hot strip mill and a pickling line, will be able to produce steels such as Usibor® 2000 and Ductibor® 1000 as well as a new Usibor® Ultraprotect coating. This builds on Florange’s strong reputation for Usibor®.

The line also strengthens ArcelorMittal’s position in advanced high strength steels for the automotive industry, which has been a focus of its R&D efforts. This has led to the design of Usibor® 2000, which the group is soon to produce on an industrial scale. The line will put ArcelorMittal in a strong position to meet fast-growing demand for Usibor®.

In parallel, customer demand for electrogalvanised products is shrinking, as they opt for more advanced high-strength steels. As a result, the current electro-zinc coating line in Florange has been operating below its 300,000 tonne capacity and ArcelorMittal has decided to convert this line into a Usibor® line. Demand for electrogalvanised products will be met by ArcelorMittal’s three other electrogalvanising lines within northern Europe: Marchin and Genk in Belgium and Dudelange, Luxembourg.

“This investment will mean better service for our customers thanks to our increased ability to produce advanced high strength steels, and the flexibility that this additional capacity brings. As we develop new advanced high strength steel products, we want to be in a position to produce them commercially as soon as possible and this investment puts us in a strong position to be able to do this. This is another very positive development in the recent history of ArcelorMittal in Lorraine – and Florange was the right place to make this investment, with its strategic location, with the technology it already has, and its existing infrastructure” said Wim Van Gerven, CEO of Business Division North.

Source: ArcelorMittal

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EU Flat Product Prices Poised to Move Up

A degree of restocking is taking place, in the German market, as service centres sell off their excess inventories, accumulated earlier in the year. Availability, from domestic sources, is good. Underlying steel consumption is robust. New offers from third country suppliers are less competitive than in June. However, plenty of attractively priced material is still available, in standard grades/sizes, at the docks. The domestic price trend continued to be negative, this month, but buyers feel that the bottom of the cycle has been reached.

Activity, in France, picked up, in June. Market participants expect a boost in steel orders, in the second half of the year, from a planned large infrastructure project around Paris. Nonetheless, prices continued to go down, in late June, but appeared to be stabilising at the beginning of July. In the distribution sector, competition is still rife, with low resale prices. Third country imports are less competitive than they were a couple of weeks ago.

In Italy, stocks at the end-users and distributors are plentiful but significantly lower than in recent months. Import pressure remained strong in late June, although overseas price offers have started to rise. Domestic values continued to contract until early July, when the negative movement stalled. Buyers are now considering purchases for deliveries in the autumn.

The Spanish manufacturing sector completed a strong second quarter of the year and steel consumption is good. Even so, overstocking and the availability of cheap imports led to a reduction in domestic values, in late June. Since then, positive price pressure has been detected in the market. Import quotations moved up and are expected to rise further when new offers resume. Moreover, domestic steelmakers are refusing to accept further orders at today’s level. Mill delivery lead times are now shorter than those from overseas sources. Stocks at service centres remain high but destocking is underway.

Source: MEPS – European Steel Review – July 2017 Issue

Hoa Phat Group orders two converter shops from SMS group

Hoa Phat Group in Vietnam has placed an order for the supply of two converter shops with a consortium consisting of WISDRI Engineering & Research Incorporation Ltd. and SMS group GmbH.The SMS group scope of supply will comprise two converters per meltshop, each of them with a capacity of 120 tons, including oxygen lance systems, converter lining facilities, converter tilt drives and the maintenance-free lamella suspension developed by SMS group. All converters will be equipped with dry electrostatic precipitator (ESP) primary dust collecting systems from SMS group. The converters, trunnion rings, converter tilt drives and parts of the dust collecting system will be manufactured in the SMS group workshop.

Furthermore, the SMS group scope of supply will also include the engineering, supervision of the erection and commissioning activities and training of the customer staff. The converter shop will be equipped with X-Pact® electrical and automation systems.

Commissioning of the first two converters is scheduled for 2018, while converters three and four are planned to be commissioned in 2019. In total, the new converter shop is to produce four million tons of liquid steel per year.

Hoa Phat Group is listed on the stock exchange and considered one of the leading producers of long products in Vietnam. The new meltshop is part of an expansion program to be implemented in the Dung Quat Economic Zone close to Da Nang.

SMS group is a group of companies internationally active in plant construction and mechanical engineering for the steel and nonferrous metals industry. It has some 13,500 employees who generate worldwide sales of more than EUR 3 billion. The sole owner of the holding company SMS GmbH is the Familie Weiss Foundation.

Source: SMS Group

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Primetals Technologies sells third copper rod mill to Southwire for end user Yixing Runfeng

  • Expands capacity of new plant
  • Meets increased demand for ETP copper
  • Mid-2018 start-up expected

To keep pace with growing demand, Jiangsu Jinhui Copper Group signed a contract with Southwire Company, LLC on behalf of subsidiary Yixing Runfeng Copper Co., Ltd. for a third SCR-7000 copper rod mill to be supplied by Primetals Technologies. Jiangsu Jinhui Copper Group purchased their first SCR-7000 from Southwire in 2007 and a second mill in 2012. The new mill will be installed in Yixing, Jiangsu Province, China. Start-up is projected for summer 2018.

Southwire Company, LLC is responsible for engineering, supplying and supervising installation of the SCR-7000, which will produce electrolytic tough pitch (ETP) copper for electrical wire and cable applications. Primetals Technologies will provide engineering, equipment and installation supervision for the rolling mill equipment which includes a 13-stand Morgan No-Twist mill, a 24-inch entry shear, intermediate shear, delivery and cleaning system, two pinch rolls, a rod coiler, coil conveyor system with hydraulics, and two oil lubrication systems. The mill will run 48 metric tons per hour on 8 mm rods, as well as producing 9.5, 12.7, 16 and 18 mm-diameter rods.

With more than 650 employees, Yixing Runfeng Copper Co. is a subsidiary of Jiangsu Jinhui Copper Group. Founded in 1978, Yixing-based Jiangsu Jinhui has been ranked among China’s top 500 enterprises and top 500 manufacturers.

Southwire Company, LLC, based in Carrollton, Georgia, USA, is North America’s largest wire and cable producer. Southwire and its subsidiaries manufacture building wire and cable, metal-clad cable, portable and electronic cord products, OEM wire products and engineered products. Over the last 50 years, Primetals Technologies has built more than 100 non-ferrous mills and completed approximately 30 upgrades for Southwire customers.

Source: Primetals

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Hyundai Steel Company orders new horizontal straightener for medium section mill from SMS group

Hyundai Steel Company, Seoul, Korea, has placed an order with SMS group for the supply of a straightening machine for the medium section mill at its Incheon site.The new horizontal roller straightener of type HRM 1400/1250/1100-9M will replace the existing straightener installed in 1995. With this new horizontal straightener from SMS group, Hyundai Steel will be able in future to roll larger sheet piles and beams up to a web height of 450 millimeters. In addition to extending the product range, the straightener will also help to improve the tolerances and quality of the sections. This straightener type impresses also with reduced maintenance and lower media consumption while maintaining a high level of process reliability.

Commissioning of the straightener is scheduled for autumn 2018.

With a crude steel production of 24 million tons per year, Hyundai Steel is one of the ten largest steel producers worldwide, supplying predominantly to the automotive, shipbuilding and general construction industries.

SMS group is a group of companies internationally active in plant construction and mechanical engineering for the steel and nonferrous metals industry. It has some 13,500 employees who generate worldwide sales of more than EUR 3 billion. The sole owner of the holding company SMS GmbH is the Familie Weiss Foundation.

Source: SMS group

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Coil Prices Approach Bottom in the Nordic Region, Upturn Expected Soon

According to MEPS, hot rolled coil prices decreased, in Denmark, in July, compared with the previous month. Stockists have plenty of material and can wait until after the summer break to place substantial orders. Spot values continued to fall, this month, in Sweden. In Finland, hot rolled coil sales activity is at a higher level than is usual, at this point in the summer. Order volumes are fluctuating, in Norway. A slowdown is expected, around the summer holidays. The building industry remains busy.

The Danish economy is quite healthy but purchasing of cold rolled coil is slowing as the summer holiday season begins. Several stockists are buying only to fill holes in their inventories. Spot prices fell, during the past month, in Sweden. However, with strong demand and rising mill input costs, MEPS predicts an upturn in selling values, after the summer break. Cold rolled coil purchase volumes are holding up, in Finland. Industrial activity is increasing, in Norway. Mill delivery lead times are stretching and will be further affected by the summer shutdowns.

In Denmark, coated coil sales volumes to the automotive supply chains, in northern Europe, are good. Nevertheless, supply has loosened, a little, and prices slipped, this month. In Sweden, consumption by the local car industry remains very strong. The price cut, for July, will probably be the last, for a while. In Finland, sales tonnages, to car makers and their suppliers, in nearby countries, are very satisfactory. Sales are steady, in Norway. Selling values are unchanged, this month.

Source: European Steel Review Supplement – July Edition