Category Archives: Steel Production News

Liberty’s European steel acquisitions set to double Group’s global production capacity

British-owned Liberty, part of Sanjeev Gupta’s global GFG Alliance, Friday 12th October, announced a conditional agreement to buy four European steel plants, employing more than 12,500 people; putting itself at the heart of the Continent’s steel industry and cementing its global role in the sector.

In a landmark transaction that would take Liberty’s total rolling capacity to over 15m tonnes a year, the Group has made a binding offer to buy ArcelorMittal’s major integrated works at Galati in Romania and Ostrava in the Czech Republic, along with rolling mills at Skopje in Macedonia and Piombino in Italy.

Liberty
Galati, Romania

The deal is subject to approval by the European Commission and other local processes including the conclusion of information consultations with local and European Works Councils.

Adding these major steel hubs more than doubles Liberty’s global metal manufacturing capacity, which already includes a strong position in the UK as a steel and aluminium supplier to the automotive, aviation and specialist engineering sectors and in Australia supplying steel for building and infrastructure. The Group also makes steel in the USA for the automotive and other sectors.

The new European assets would boost Liberty’s capacity across a full range of flat and long products and pave the way for the Group to develop further its primary and GREENSTEEL sustainable production models in the Continent’s industrial heartlands.

Today’s announcement follows the recent roll-out of Liberty’s investment programme in France, where it has acquired the country’s last remaining aluminium wheel maker and agreed to purchase Europe’s largest aluminium smelter at Dunkerque; a deal expected to complete shortly.

Liberty secured preferred bidder status for the ArcelorMittal European plants against competition from other producers after the company put the profitable assets up for sale as part of an agreement with EU competition regulators to clear the way for it to purchase Italian steel giant, Ilva, Europe’s largest producer of flat carbon steel. Liberty has worked closely with ArcelorMittal to prepare a transaction that satisfies the demands of the EU Commission and creates a secure future for these businesses within the GFG Alliance.

Following completion, Liberty intends to continue investing in the assets – which already have many leading-edge facilities – and aims to achieve greater competitiveness through low-carbon production and closer integration with added-value downstream manufacturing, as part of its GREENSTEEL strategy.

In addition, Liberty and the wider GFG Group aims to develop close working relationships with respective governments, trade unions and other local stakeholders in order to optimise the value of the steel assets for the regional and national economies.

Executive chairman of the GFG Alliance, Sanjeev Gupta, said: “I am delighted to announce this landmark transaction, our biggest milestone to date. At a stroke these acquisitions would almost double the size of our workforce and global production capacity, giving us a strong presence in the heart of Europe’s key manufacturing regions. We intend to work with local partners to position ourselves strongly within the domestic supply chains of these fast-expanding national economies and become a pivotal part of a thriving European industrial sector. These are high-quality assets with highly-skilled staff whom we’re looking forward to welcoming into the GFG Alliance.”

The four sites in the package have a combined rolling capacity of around 8m tonnes a year and would give Liberty the ability to supply a full range of finished steels including; plate, hot rolled coil, cold rolled coil, galvanised sheet, tin plate, bar, wire rod, and rail. The plants serve domestic and wider European markets, including automotive, construction, industrial machinery and oil and gas sectors.

Jay Hambro; chief investment officer of the GFG Alliance said: “Following relevant approvals for this transaction, the GFG Alliance will have a number of new global hubs in Europe. These steel operations are high-performing, profitable assets with modern equipment, excellent transport connections to key markets and high-skilled workforces. There is huge potential for expansion, further modernisation and the application of GFG’s GREENSTEEL strategy.

“Following our entry to these countries as a steel producer, we look forward to working with partners to introduce other GFG businesses to these jurisdictions. We’re eager to explore opportunities for SIMEC’s infrastructure, resources and highly-successful renewable energy teams as well as our financial services team at Wyelands and real estate specialists in JAHAMA’s as part of a holistic GFG offer.”

Source: Liberty Steel

Global Stainless Steel Trade Plagued by Quotas

 

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 ORDERS HIGH-SPEED BILLET CASTER FROM SMS CONCAST

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