Category Archives: Steel Production News

Prometal Aciérie Contracts SMS Group to Supply Hot Rolling Mill to Widen its Production

Prometal Aciérie

Prometal Aciérie, Cameroon, Africa, has awarded SMS group the order to supply a new hot rolling mill for rebars, sections and wire rod. The new rolling mill will be designed for the production of straight rebars, angles, channels, flats, squares, beams and wire rod coils, enabling Prometal to expand its product portfolio, covering as much as possible of the product mix for long steel products. With this investment, long steel producer Prometal Aciérie, based in Douala, Cameroon, is going to install the first combined rolling mill in the African region.

First combined rolling mill in Africa

The rolling mill will be designed for a maximum overall capacity of approx. 300,000 tons per year. Starting with 130 millimeter square billets, which will be heated up in a 60 ton-per-hour modern pusher-type furnace, the mill will be able to produce rebars from 8 to 32 millimeters, sections such as 100-millimeter-high beams and channels, and smooth rounds in coil from 5.5 to 12 millimeters. The state-of-the art HSD® (High Speed Delivery) System allows reaching the full production capacity for the complete size range, increasing the material yield. The high speed finishing block will produce quality wire rod coils at minimized operational costs. Moreover, the rolling mill will be controlled by a Level 2 automation system provided by SMS group.

The combined mill, completely supplied by SMS group, will become the new reference benchmark for the market in terms of high technology, quality, efficiency and low operational costs in Africa. Commissioning of the new rolling mill is scheduled for December 2019.

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

Stainless Steel Market Disrupted by Escalating Trade Tensions

Liberty Begins Multi-Million-Pound Newport Rolling Mill Investment

Liberty Steel Newport, part of Sanjeev Gupta’s global GFG Alliance, has begun a planned £15m investment in new and upgraded equipment as it continues a drive to win bigger UK market share for hot-rolled coil, used in industries such as construction, automotive and pipe manufacture.

The 180-worker South Wales plant, re-opened by Liberty in 2015 following closure by previous owners, is doubling coil production this year to nearly 370,000 tonnes and is targeting further growth in 2019, aiming to displace foreign imports that currently take around 50% of the domestic market.

This week the firm is completing the first phase of the investment which is the installation of advanced descaling equipment to further improve the surface quality of the product, along with additional automation to increase process efficiency. There are plans to install further equipment in the coming months to achieve more product quality and internal efficiency improvements.

Operations director Tony Halbert said: “We’re greatly encouraged by the progress we’ve been making at the mill and these investments will put us in an even stronger position to serve existing and new customers in the UK and overseas.”

Planning work and front-end engineering are also continuing at Newport for a much larger investment involving the installation of an electric arc furnace and casters for liquid steelmaking and slab production at the site. These processes will be powered by renewable energy under Liberty’s GREENSTEEL strategy.

Sanjeev Gupta, executive chairman of the GFG Alliance said: “Newport was the group’s first steel producing asset so it’s very satisfying to see it continuing to make great strides forward as a highly-valued part of the global GFG business. We’re looking forward to delivering our big ambitions for the site.”

Source: Liberty Steel

Uncertainty and Price Volatility Unsettle the Emerging Steel Markets

Thyssenkrupp Steel decides to build a new hot-dip galvanizing line in Dortmund

Strong signal for innovation and employment in the Ruhr

ThyssenKrupp has cleared the way for the construction of a new state-of-the-art hot-dip galvanizing line at its Dortmund site: as of yesterday all the necessary internal approvals are in place. Provided the district government in Arnsberg grants the Duisburg-based steel producer building permission, the first coils of hot-dip galvanized steel could roll off the new line as soon as early 2021. ThyssenKrupp Steel’s tenth hot-dip coating line will create over 100 new and skilled jobs in the Ruhr and represents an investment in the low three-digit million range.

  • New line will serve rising demand from automotive OEMs for premium hot-dip coated products
  • Innovative high-quality zinc-magnesium coatings can also be produced on the new line
  • Investment in the low three-digit million range
  • Will create over 100 highly skilled jobs
  • Start-up planned for early 2021

Important strategic step geared towards attractive product markets

The new hot-dip coating line at thyssenkrupp Steel will support the auto industry trend towards hot-dip galvanized products. “As a close partner to our customers we understand the rising demand for premium hot-dip galvanized materials and will meet it in the best possible way. With the new line we want to further strengthen our position in an essential important market segment,” says Andreas Goss, CEO of thyssenkupp Steel. “The investment is clear evidence of our strategy to focus on innovative technologies and markets with potential and to secure the future of our business,” adds Goss. The new line will also make zinc-magnesium products, which are particularly in demand from auto manufacturers. thyssenkrupp was the first steel producer in the world to offer all the coatings commonly used in the auto industry with outer panel quality.

Decision in favor of Dortmund and the Ruhr as a center of industry

There are good reasons for choosing Dortmund as the location. There is already a hot-dip coating line here – FBA8 – which started operation in 2001 and is regarded as one of the most modern and efficient of its kind. The new line will be built right next to the existing one to allow them to share technical and supply services. The new unit will increase the site’s capacity for hot-dip coated products by 500,000 tons to a total of one million tons. Including thyssenkrupp Steel’s in-house research centers in Duisburg and Dortmund it will make the Ruhr Europe’s biggest center of excellence for hot-dip galvanized products. Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart, Minister for Economic Affairs and Digitization, welcomes the new investment: “The new hot-dip coating line will not only strengthen the Ruhr region as an industrial cluster; the use of innovative technologies is essential for the international competitiveness of our steel industry – we will only succeed on the world market if we offer the best quality. thyssenkrupp Steel is creating ideal conditions for sustainable jobs in North Rhine-Westphalia.”

Existing jobs secured – new jobs planned

The new hot-dip coating line will create over 100 additional jobs in Dortmund and further secure existing jobs. The new jobs will also offer excellent development opportunities for various engineering and apprentice professions. “The investment in FBA10 is an investment in the future of the steel industry in the Ruhr and the future of our company. After many months of uncertainty, this is an important and necessary signal. It also shows that despite all the talk about savings and job cuts we are also looking to strengthen and grow our sites in targeted fashion,” says Tekin Nasikkol, General Works Council Chairman of ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe.

Source: ThyssenKrupp Steel

Stainless Steel Market Disrupted by Escalating Trade Tensions

Transfer bar cooling system from Primetals Technologies commissioned at Tata Steel Port Talbot hot strip mill

Cooling system increases production capacity by approximately 150,000 metric tons of hot strip per year

Recently, a transfer bar cooling system supplied by Primetals Technologies was commissioned in the hot strip mill of Tata Steel´s Port Talbot integrated steel plant located in South Wales, United Kingdom. The purpose of the cooling system, installed after the roughing mill, is the precise control of the strip temperature before it enters the finishing mill, without having to slow down the roughing mill. This results in an increase of production capacity by approximately 150,000 metric tons of hot strip per year. The system is based on Primetals Technologies´ Power Cooling technology. The order to install the transfer bar cooling system was awarded to Primetals Technologies April 2017.

Transfer bar cooling system from Primetals Technologies installed at the hot strip mill of Tata Steel´s Port Talbot integrated steel plant located in  South Wales, United Kingdom.
Transfer bar cooling system from Primetals Technologies installed at the hot strip mill of Tata Steel´s Port Talbot integrated steel plant located in  South Wales, United Kingdom.


The Power Cooling technology from Primetals Technologies is especially designed to reach highest cooling rates. This technology can be implemented as intensive cooling between the roughing and the finishing mill area. This leads to improved strip temperature control for increasing productivity.

Tata Steel Port Talbot’s hot strip mill has a nominal capacity of about 3.4 million metric tons of steel per year. The Port Talbot site is an integrated blast furnace based steel complex, which produces slabs, hot rolled, cold rolled and galvanized coils. The transfer bar cooling system installed after the roughing mill exit table employs a total of 18 spray headers in its initial configuration, nine top and nine bottom headers, and may be extended with additional headers at a later time. The total length of the transfer bar cooling system is approximately 10 meters. In order to cope with a large variety of steel grades and process requirements, especially the minimum surface temperature of the bar during cooling, the flow rates of the Power Cooling headers are adjustable over a wide range, so that a lower cooling intensity is also achievable as required for each individual product. Each header is flow-controlled by a separate ball segment valve.

Transfer bar cooling is based on Primetals Technologies´ Power Cooling

In addition to the transfer bar cooling system itself, Primetals Technologies´ scope of supply encompassed the affected roller table, including motors, drives and transformers, an overhead tank, a booster pump station and a cross-spray pump station. Level 1 and level 2 automation as well as the interface to the existing hot strip mill automation system was also provided.

The transfer bar cooling technology was tested for the first time at voestalpine Stahl in Linz, Austria in 2003. The first industrial installation was set up at Thyssen Krupp Bruckhausen in Germany in 2013.

Source: Primetals Technologies

EU Steel Buyers Grapple with Safeguard Implications


JSW Steel Ltd. in Toranagallu, India, belonging to Jindal Group, has awarded SMS Concast, a company of SMS group, an order covering a 5(6)-strand high-speed billet caster. This project is part of a bigger expansion plan, and the main objective is a productivity increase.

The existing steel plant consists of a 160-ton electric arc furnace, ladle furnace, billet caster and rolling mill and shall increase the annual production to 1,500,000 tons of steel after installation of the new billet caster. The caster will be designed for fast casting of square billets with an edge length of 165 millimeters.

SMS Concast’s caster configuration will allow the common use of spares in two different steel meltshops. This is one big feature to decrease OPEX.

Furthermore, latest technology will be applied to reach the specified productivity and OPEX targets. One special product is the low- maintenance oscillation drive called CONDRIVE, another the advanced INVEX® mold technology.

The CONDRIVE mold oscillation represents a totally new approach combining the advantages of hydraulic and mechanic drives in one. Due to the innovative torque drive, the amplitude, frequency and oscillation profile can be adjusted online and independently. Thus it grants full functionality, however without the hydraulic system drawbacks in terms of maintenance and piping. In this context, CONDRIVE is one part of the advanced maintenance concept with a view to reduced spare parts inventory.

Regarding productivity, the SMS Concast-developed INVEX® mold allows for very high strand throughputs in the area of 790 kg/min. The special tube geometry and enhanced water cooling features allow the mold to achieve efficient heat transfer and thus a more uniform solidification at the faces and in the corner areas, thus enabling higher casting speeds.

“Considering the very good performance of the existing SMS Concast equipment, its advanced technology and reduced OPEX, we have decided to go for another co-operation in order to implement our expansion plan,” says Mr. Purushottam Prasad from JSW Steel Ltd.

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

EU Safeguarding Measures Influence Stainless Steel Purchasing Behaviour

Mixed Trend in EU Flat Product Steel Prices in July


German consumption of strip mill products is healthy. Availability of commodity grade material is good. The steelmakers are trying to implement a rise of €20/30 per tonne in the general market, for October deliveries. Currently, service centres are well booked for third trimester business, but resale margins remain under negative pressure. Third country import offers show little price advantage against domestically produced steel.


In France, distributors supplying the auto industry continue to indicate very strong sales. Supply difficulties were reported, with some delivery problems regarding material sourced in the Netherlands and Germany. Spot values were stable or slightly down, in July. The steelmakers’ announcements, to raise figures by €20 per tonne, met with a large degree of resistance. Service centres are not willing to order at increased prices, considering the level of their resale values and competition in that sector from mill-owned distributors.


Growth in Italy’s manufacturing sector improved, during June. However, general market sentiment has softened. Nevertheless, the recent price erosion was halted, in July, with the price trend reverting to a positive one, albeit from a very low base. All local/regional mills raised list prices, in tandem, as slab costs escalated. Inventory levels were reduced, prompting buyers to make stock purchases. Supply uncertainty exists due to the EC safeguard investigation. Moreover, the majority of mills will, shortly, be undertaking scheduled summer maintenance. Buyers anticipate further hikes, after the holidays, in September. However, resale margins at the service centres remain poor.

United Kingdom

The performance of the UK manufacturing sector remained relatively subdued, in June. Nevertheless, a number of steel stockholders reported good levels of activity and quite strong demand. Their resale prices continue to recover but are still not at the required level. Independent distributors continue to complain that mill-owned service centres are selling aggressively, thus lowering customers’ price expectations. Trader stock levels have dwindled as they are unwilling to take the risk that retrospective duties may be applied. Basis values, quoted by steelmakers, are similar to those reported, in June. Delivery lead times are extending into October.


Strip mill product basis prices remained stable, in Belgium, in July. Sellers would like to impose a rise but the onset of the Belgian holidays, in mid-July, have, so far, enabled buyers to postpone purchasing decisions. Distributors’ resale values, which were reflecting steel costs, recently weakened, as end-users refused to pay more. Inventory levels are normal to low. Customers complain of delayed deliveries from the steelmakers.


Spanish manufacturing business conditions continued to improve, at the end of the second quarter 2018. However, the rate of growth in the sector remained muted, compared with earlier in the year. Nevertheless, distributors report a relatively quiet market. Despite the mills’ announcements of a €20 per tonne rise, strip mill product figures were stable, in July. Currently, import offers are uncompetitive. Buyers anticipate that domestic price increases will be secured, once negotiations are concluded.

Source: MEPS European Steel Review


Global Steel Sector in Turmoil