Archives March 2019

Steel Buyers Alerted to Imminent Price Rises – MEPS

MEPS International Ltd predicts a recovery in steel selling values throughout Western Europe, in the near term. Declining supplies of iron ore from Brazil are leading to increased costs of this key element in the production of flat rolled products.

Market demand is expected to expand over the next six months as the weather improves and construction activity grows. Orders from the domestic vehicle manufacturing sector are projected to gradually pick up. However, the size of the steel price rises in 2019 are likely to be lower than the equivalent increases noted in 2018.

Source: MEPS International Ltd – News Alert


glowing orange steel in a Steel Mill based in Arequipa, Peru

Aceros Arequipa Orders Steel Mill and Continuous Billet Caster from SMS Group

Corporación Aceros Arequipa S.A. (CAASA), based in Arequipa, Peru, has awarded SMS group an order covering the supply of mechatronic equipment for a new steel mill and a billet caster with six strands for its Pisco site. The plant is designed for an annual capacity of 1,200,000 tons and will produce billets with sections of 130, 160 and 180 millimeters. Commissioning is scheduled for early 2020.

In terms of the steel mill, SMS group will supply a 120-ton AC electric arc furnace equipped with innovative technology to secure high productivity levels. A CONDOOR automated slag door will reduce downtimes and thus make the process more efficient. The CONSO injection system, in combination with the AEREG electrode controller, will permit over 180 tons of steel to be produced every hour in a steady and continuous process. SMS group’s scope of supply also includes a ladle furnace meeting all requirements with regard to the respective steel composition.

The steel mill will be equipped with a gas cleaning plant capable of processing over 2,200,000 cubic meters of process gas per hour, with the frustum exhaust hood from SMS group permitting the gases produced during furnace charging and tapping to be captured and extracted more effectively. The gas cleaning plant will comply with the strictest environmental regulations.

SMS Concast, an SMS group company, will supply a continuous billet caster with six strands. The caster will have a casting radius of nine meters and be equipped with the proven CONVEX® mold, a technology that is both widespread and well-established on the market. The special inside geometry of the mold allows for a greater transfer of heat across the whole mold, with a uniform degree of solidification in the corners. The efficient strand shell guidance in the mold with maximum symmetrical cooling not only increases the casting speed but, at the same time, improves the quality of the cast product. The CONFLOW tundish stopper is used to ensure a stable flow of steel and a reliable casting process. CONSTIR, an electromagnetic stirrer used as mold and final stirrer, ensures the required metallurgical quality. A new alternating oscillator allows for high flexibility and thus enhanced productivity.

A significant reduction in operating costs will be achieved thanks to the direct connection to the rolling mills. Depending on the desired quality, the billets can either be rolled directly or be taken to the rolling mill after they have slowly cooled down.

SMS group’s scope of supply includes basic and detail engineering, supply of all mechanical and electrical components, the entire electrical and automation system including an integrated process control system (level 2) which monitors the steel quality from the scrap yard to the billet storage area, as well as the supervision of erection and commissioning.

Aceros Arequipa manufactures long and flat steel products, including corrugated iron, wire rod, steel profiles, bars and tubes, as well as steel tools and components for the construction, civil engineering and mining industries. The company supplies the local market and exports to Columbia, Ecuador, and Bolivia.

The new plant will allow Aceros Arequipa to expand its presence on the local market and in South America and to offer higher-quality products.

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 14,000 employees who generate worldwide sales of about EUR 3 billion. The sole owner of the holding company SMS GmbH is the Familie Weiss Foundation.

Source: SMS Group


JSW Steel Ltd & DITH: “Partnering for Growth”

JSW Steel Ltd, flagship Company of JSW Group (“JSW”) and Duferco International Trading Holding S.A. (“DITH”) have again aligned their strategic goals in a landmark USD 700 million 5-year Advance Payment and Supply Agreement (“APSA”) executed on the 27th February 2019.  

This unique financing structure provides JSW long term funding to complement its plans for future growth secured by committed exports of steel products to DITH.  For DITH the transaction assures a captive supply of various steel products from JSW over the term of the APSA.

The transaction further cements the long-term relationship between the two groups which have partnered together in various commercial ventures during the past 15 years. The deal is the largest trade finance facility to have been arranged in the Indian steel sector. In the past, JSW and DITH have entered into similar trade financing arrangements on smaller scale but for a longer term, all of which were successfully executed and completed.

The deal has been arranged and financed by the global banks BNP Paribas, Citibank, Credit Suisse, ING, Mashreqbank, Natixis, Societe Generale, Standard Chartered Bank acting as Mandated Lead Arrangers and Bookrunners. The commitment of the financing partners reflects the strong confidence held in both JSW and DITH when taking into consideration a transaction of this size and terms.

The structured long-term trade finance transaction is an important deal in diversifying the sources of financing for JSW Steel. This not only enables JSW to raise funds at competitive rates but also assures incremental volume of sales in export markets leveraging the wide spread global network of the DITH Group Companies. This transaction is a win-win for both the organisations.

Mr. Seshagiri Rao, JMD and Group CFO

We are delighted to have concluded such a significant structured trade finance transaction; this corroborates our faith in the sustainability of steel trading and indeed is a material statement of confidence in the reliability of our partner JSW. We look forward to facilitating JSW’s existing and future steel exports to a diverse and multinational customer base.

Mr. Matthew De Morgan, DITH Group CEO

About JSW Steel Ltd

JSW Steel Ltd. is the flagship company of the diversified USD13 billion JSW Group which has a leading presence in sectors such as steel, energy, infrastructure, cement and sports among others. From a single manufacturing unit in the early 1980s, JSW Steel Ltd, today, is one of the foremost integrated steel companies in India with an installed capacity of 18 MTPA and has plans to scale up in India and overseas. JSW Steel’s manufacturing facility at Vijayanagar, Karnataka is the largest single location steel-producing facility in India with a capacity of 12 MTPA.

The Company has been at the forefront of state-of-the-art, cutting-edge technology, research and innovation while laying the foundation for long-term growth. Strategic collaboration with global technology leaders to offer high-value special steel products for various applications across construction, automobile, appliances and other sectors. JSW Steel Ltd. has been widely recognised for its business and operational excellence. Key awards include the Deming Prize for Total Quality Management at Vijayanagar (2018) and the DJSI Robeco SAM Sustainability Industry Mover Award (2018) among others.

About DITH

The DITH Group is the world’s leading independent trader and a prominent distributor and processor of Steel Products and associated raw materials. It has a world-wide network of offices and processing sites enjoying a physical presence in 82 countries across five continents.  DITH’s wealth of experience in the international steel supply chain is world renowned and boasts a global footprint serving over 49,000 customers in 108 countries achieving a turnover of over USD7 billion with sales approaching 12 million tons per annum. Duferco SA is a subsidiary and the principal operating company within a group controlled by Duferco International Trading Holding SA.


Red Danieli Wirerod Machine

Danieli to Supply Two New H3 Wirerod Mills in Russia

Two new High-productivity, High-quality and High-efficiency H3 rolling mills will be installed and put into operation in Russia during 2020. AEMZ – Abinsk Electric Steel Works Ltd. ordered a new 600,000-tpy H3 wirerod line to be installed at Abinsk, in the Krasnodar region, to produce wirerod coils (5.5- to 16-mm-dia smooth rounds; 6- to 12-mm-dia quenched and microalloyed rebar) for construction purposes, welding wire and CHQ grades.

NPZ – Novorossiysk Rolling Plant LLC ordered a new 500,000-tpy H3 wirerod mill to be installed at Novorossiysk, Krasnodar region, to roll 150×150 billets into 5.5 to 16-mm-dia wirerod and deformed wirerod in coils weighing up to 2.1 tons.

Depending on customer requirements, Danieli H3 mills operate at over 100 m/sec, and consist of ESS Energy Saving System cantilever-type and SHS housingless stands and fast-finishing blocks.

The Danieli Structure Control System includes a water-cooling line suitable for wirerod quenching and controlled cooling, whilst Oil-Film Bearing loop-laying head, Rotary Reforming Tube and Easy-Down System guarantee perfect coil pattern.

Danieli H3 mills typically are supplied along with Danieli Centro Combustion reheating furnaces equipped with the latest-generation, ultra-low NOx emission, flat MAB flameless burners.

Danieli Automation provides process control, power and instrumentation like medium-voltage Q-DRIVE, HiPROFILE LITE and HiSECTION measuring devices for in-line tracking and product monitoring, and the HiLINE optical system for rolling guides set-up, and for rolls and guides alignment of the fast finishing blocks.

Source: Danieli


the front cover of the February 2019 issue of MEPS Stainless Steel Review

Raw Material Hikes Prompt Stainless Steel Recovery

The recent upturn in raw material values has spurred stainless steel producers to introduce price increases – in some cases, over and above the amount necessary to cover the rise in mill input costs.

LME nickel values have been on an upward trend, since early January. Nevertheless, the increase was insufficient to bring about an uptick in European alloy surcharges for austenitic stainless steels, in February. This, because costs for chromium, molybdenum and steel scrap fell, during the calculation reference period.

This means that the surcharges for nickel-bearing grades, in Europe, had decreased for seven consecutive months. During this time, nominal basis values – the difference between the effective price and the alloy surcharge – having plummeted in the first half of 2018, as surcharges soared, failed to recover in the manner that market participants expected.

However, while alloy extras dropped again in February, effective prices for austenitic flat products, in Europe, remained stable or, in a few cases, increased. This represents an upturn in nominal basis figures. Alloy surcharges will rise again, in March, and European producers are predicted to push for further price hikes, in excess of the changes to alloy extras. This turnaround has been anticipated for some time, as mills have been selling at values which were, clearly, not covering their production costs.

In the United States, the leading stainless steelmaker, North American Stainless, recently announced basis price increases, for bars and hot rolled plates, effective March 1. However, no such proposal has been made, at the time of writing, with regards to coil products. US producers have less requirement for price increases than their European counterparts, because trade measures, such as antidumping duties and Section 232 quotas and tariffs, have kept US domestic values at a relatively high level.

Chinese market prices, which tend to respond quickly to changes in raw material costs, took a positive turn, in February, following the Lunar New Year celebrations. Stainless steel producers in South Korea and Taiwan, achieved moderate hikes, for February contracts. Their intentions to seek further increases, in March negotiations, have already been indicated. Japanese market values have been stable, for many months. Local suppliers’ efforts to apply increases met with very limited success, in February. However, MEPS expects them to continue to press for price increments, in the coming months.

Source: MEPS Stainless Steel Review


Primetals Technologies receives final acceptance for modernized continuous slab caster at Angang Iron & Steel

  • Modernization improves productivity and product quality
  • Greater flexibility for product mix and casting formats
  • Casting machine was revamped within just 30 days
  • Fast project implementation minimized downtimes
  • 1,700 heats equaling approximately 348,000 tons processed from start-up to FAC

In December 2018, Primetals Technologies received the Final acceptance Certificate (FAC) for the modernized two-strand continuous slab caster CCM1 in steel works no. 3 of Angang Iron & Steel Group Co. in Anshan, China. The caster was started-up in late October 2018 and processed more than 1,700 heats equaling approximately 348,000 tons within less than two months. The objectives of the project were to improve the product quality and productivity, and also to increase the flexibility of the processing of different steel grades and casting formats. The casting plant is equipped with modern equipment and technology packages, including DynaGap Soft Reduction to improve the interior quality of the slabs. In order to minimize shutdown times, the project planning attached particular importance to a quick implementation: the casting machine was revamped within just 30 days.

Angang Iron & Steel Group Co. is located in Anshan in Liaoning Province. It has an annual production of approximately 35.8 million metric tons (2017), and is one of China’s leading steel producers. Steel works no. 3 in Anshan employs a conversion route through a basic oxygen converter, ladle furnace and RH plant. It has an annual capacity of five million metric tons and supplies two casting plants. Continuous slab caster CCM2 has already been modernized by Primetals Technologies and has been back in successful operation since July 2015.

The two-strand continuous slab caster CCM1 in steel works no. 3 has a production capacity of 2.5 million metric tons per annum. Its machine radius is nine meters and metallurgical length 36 meters. The caster produces slabs with a thickness of 230 millimeters in widths ranging from 990 to 1,550 millimeters. The maximum casting speed is 2.1 meters per minute. The plant casts ultra-low carbon to high carbon steels, peritectic, deep drawn and HSLA steels, as well as micro-alloyed, low-alloyed and silicon steels.

The modernization project included equipping continuous slab caster CCM1 with a new tundish car and a new tundish with LevCon mold level control. The straight cassette-type Smart Mold is equipped with the Mold Expert breakout detection system, DynaWidth for automatic width adjustment, and the DynaFlex mold oscillator. Bender and Smart Segments as well as I-Star rollers are used in the strand-guiding system.

The Dynacs secondary cooling system dynamically calculates and controls the temperature profile along the entire strand. This enables the working points of the strand cooling, and thus the final strand solidification, to be determined precisely as a function of the casting speed, slab format and steel grade. DynaGap Soft Reduction is used to improve the interior quality of the slabs. The roll gap is dynamically adjusted during the final solidification in accordance with the operating points calculated by Dynacs. This minimizes segregation in the center of the strand. The secondary cooling uses DynaJet spray cooling with a center/margin setting.

In addition, Primetals Technologies handled the basic engineering of the tundish, the ladle shroud, the dummy bar system, the supporting structure and the maintenance stands, as well as the detailed engineering for the shroud manipulator, the tundish car, mold and mold oscillator, the segments of the strand-guiding system, the secondary cooling and the dummy bar. The automation system and the consulting services for the construction and commissioning were also part of the order.

Source: Primetals Technologies