Jindal Tubular USA LLC acquires the assets of PSL NORTH AMERICA LLC

Acquisition expands Jindal SAW’s presence in North Americas the Premier Global Manufacturer of Water and Natural Gas Transmission Pipe

BAY ST. LOUIS, MS– AUGUST 25, 2014– Jindal Tubular USA LLC (“Jindal Tubular”), a SPV of Jindal SAW one of the largest global manufacturers of large diameter steel pipe,  today announced the acquisition of the assets of PSL North America LLC (the “Company” or “PSLNA”) for $104 million. Belonging to O.P. Jindal Group one of India’s largest business conglomerates with interests spanning the steel, mining, power, industrial gases and ports verticals Jindal SAW is set to service the US market.

PSLNA is a premier manufacturer of large diameter, high pressure steel pipe utilizing state-of-the-art helical submerged arc welding (“HSAW”) technology. Located in Bay St. Louis, MS, the Company’s manufacturing and coating plant is one of the most modern and technologically advanced in the world.  The plant is capable of producing over 300,000 tons of pipe per year with diameters ranging from 18″ to 120″ and lengths up to 80′. The Company’s pipes are used primarily for natural gas, petroleum and water transmission lines and construction pilings.

Commenting on the acquisition P R Jindal Chairman, expressed his satisfaction on the fruitful culmination of a court controlled process. “This new acquisition is an expression of Jindal SAW’s expansive business approach that will extend an added advantage to tap into the wide US market insistently.” He averred.

“This acquisition is an important milestone, not only for Jindal SAW Ltd. but for all stakeholders. PSLNA’s modern and advanced manufacturing technology complements our existing operations in the US, further strengthening our asset base and production capacity. We are pleased to invite the members of PSL NA in the Jindal family and participate in our growth story.” – Mr. Neeraj Kumar, Group CEO & Whole-time Director, Jindal SAW Ltd.

PSL North America LLC brings remarkable experience and expertise in the manufacturing of large diameter, high pressure steel pipe utilizing state-of-the-art helical submerged arc welding (“HSAW”) technology. We look forward to teaming up with Jindal SAW as we diversify our product line and continue to leverage our capabilities to be able to deliver better services to our customers. Jindal SAW is an undisputed leader in the sector and we are confident that the company would help us take our business to the next level of excellence for our customers, suppliers and employees,” said Richard D. Gilstrap, Jr., Chief Executive Officer.”

Jindal Tubular acquired all of the assets of PSL NA through a Section 363 sale held in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.  Chris Schaeper and Ira Herman of Thompson & Knight LLP served as legal counsel to Jindal Tubular in the transaction. The sellers received financial advice from Lisa Neimark, Jon Melzerand Eric Williams of Duff & Phelps Securities, LLCand legal counsel from John Knight and Paul Heath of Richards, Layton & Finger, P.A.

Source: Jindal Saw Ltd

About Jindal Tubular USA LLC:

Jindal Tubular is part of the $18 billion O.P. Jindal Group and the U.S. division of Jindal SAW Ltd., which is one of the largest global manufacturers and suppliers of steel and iron and pipe products.  Jindal SAW’s principal products include large diameter submerged arc pipes and spiral pipes for the energy transportation sector; carbon, alloy, and stainless steel seamless pipes and tubes for use in industrial applications; and ductile iron pipes for water and wastewater transportation.  For the fiscal year ending March 31, 2014, Jindal SAW reported revenues of $1.1 billion.

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New format for continuous casting line delivers high-quality forgings for the automotive industry

ArcelorMittal has invested around US$267m in the past four years in its site in Duisburg, Germany, of which US$180m was spent on a state-of-the-art wire rod mill. The new wire rod mill can process high-strength and ultra-high-strength steels, using the latest technologies to enable thermo-mechanical rolling processes. A new factory laboratory has also been installed alongside the rod mill, to assure the quality of the products.

ArcelorMittal continues to invest in the Ruhrort site as well. The changeover to a symmetrical format for continuous casting line two offers customers in the automotive supply sector high-quality steel ingots for producing forgings. For example, these include gearbox parts, which create less vibration in the engine and therefore reduce noise emissions.

“We are investing US$8.6m in the format change in order to adapt the plant to future requirements and to increase our competitiveness. After construction of the new wire rod mill, this is the next step towards securing the future of jobs and steel production in Duisburg,” commented Thorsten Brand, CEO at ArcelorMittal Duisburg.

Higher quality and more environmentally friendly

The planned investments will change the mould format of continuous casting line two from the current 265×385 mm (rectangular) to 320×320 mm (square). At the same time, this will improve the rolling tolerance, which will enhance the quality of the product.

The new format will also extend ArcelorMittal’s product range and increase the flexibility of customers who process the steel to make forged parts such as gearboxes, crankshafts, gear wheels or axles, predominantly for use in commercial vehicles.

The investment will deliver forgings made from semi-products at ArcelorMittal Duisburg which will meet the highest requirements of the strict European guidelines on noise emissions for commercial vehicles.

Preparations for the investment project have already started and the plant refit will take place in mid-2015.

ArcelorMittal’s Duisburg site supplies semi-products for forging, as well as high-strength and ultra-high-strength wire rods for the automotive industry and renewable energy applications (for example offshore wind farms), for fastening elements and machine building.

Source: ArcelorMittal

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Drahtwerk St. Ingbert puts new surface treatment plant into operation

Investment of 13.5 million euro in state-of-the-art technology

St. Ingbert/Völklingen, 20th August 2014 – Drahtwerk St. Ingbert GmbH (DWI), a subsidiary of Saarstahl AG, has constructed a new pickling line for the surface treatment of wire. The investment amounted to 13.5 million euro. “The new plant allows us more flexibility and is helping us to generate additional fields of business”, Managing Director Peter Holz explains. “We want to expand our product range and to orientate our development toward higher quality grades”.

The high-performance pickling line was built over a period of 18 months and its pickling and surface treatment technology is state-of-the-art. The new line allows coatings of even higher quality and with greater homogeneity than previously. Depending on the customers’ requirements, wire can be phosphatized, polymer-coated or soap-treated. Combined with so-called hood-type annealing, in which wire coils are heated in a defined process in order to achieve particular material properties, as part of the Saarstahl Group, DWI now offers the latest technology in further processing of wire. “With this investment, we are well prepared for the future and for further developing our service for our customers”, Peter Holz comments.

In particular, the manufacture of drawn cold-heading wire, which is primarily used in the production of components for the automotive industry (e.g. engine components, chassis components, screws), has now been integrated into the possibilities offered in St. Ingbert. “The new hall with its modern facade has significantly enhanced the outward appearance of our plant when viewed from the Eventhaus, Alte Schmelz and from Saarbrücker Straße”, Peter Holz concludes.

Source: Saarstahl AG

SIGNIFICANT INCREASE IN CHINESE STEEL EXPORTS – MEPS INTERNATIONAL LTD

Chinese exports of steel products increased by 9.5 million tonnes during the first six months of this year, compared with the same period in 2013. MEPS estimates that offshore supply represents approximately 60 percent of the escalation of mill output in the period.

Foreign sales of finished rolled steel mill products climbed to 31.85 million tonnes in the first half of this year – up from 22.3 million tonnes in 2013. This gain in export activity was not confined to the popular importing nations. Of China’s top thirty export destinations, twenty nine recorded increased tonnages in 2014. The exception was Singapore with a minimal reduction of 0.4 percent.

Chinese steel is, currently, extremely price competitive in most global markets. Over the past twelve months, material from China’s steelmakers has become cost effective, to many customers in the West, despite long delivery lead times. However the most popular destinations remain those in the Asian continent.

In the first half of 2013, six countries imported in excess of one million tonnes of Chinese steel products – all of them in Asia. By comparison, in the January to June period, this year, steel exports of more than one million tonnes were shipped to twelve countries. These included two none Asian nations – United States and Brazil.

It is worth remembering that the economies of a number of South East Asian nations have built up, in recent years, a strong need for supplies of competitively priced steel products for their development. Many factories have been specifically set up in these countries to use local labour for assembly of products for western multi-national corporations.

So far in 2014, we have seen a number of significant changes to the pattern of Chinese exports over the past twelve months. Sales to Japanese customers went up from 273,000 tonnes in the first half of last year to 762,000 tonnes in the same period, this year. Exports to Brazil almost doubled in the same time span.

Steel supplies to the United States, in the first six months of 2014, increased by 77 percent, year-on- year. Most of the gain was in flat products. Other countries with significant advances, so far this year, are Pakistan, India, Belgium, Chile and UAE. In almost every case of increased import activity, the main driver was the competitive price.

Source: MEPS China Steel Review – August Edition

MORE EVIDENCE OF MEPS CLAIM THAT CHINA’S STEEL OUTPUT IS UNDERSTATED

In 2011, MEPS reported its belief that the National Bureau of Statistics figures for China’s crude steel production understated the actual output by approximately 6 percent. This fact was subsequently acknowledged by a senior member of the China Iron and Steel Association but no action appears to have been taken in the interim to change the situation.

Recently, Mr Xu Lejiang , Chairman of Baosteel Group, is reported to have stated that China’s crude steel production, in 2013, was 822 million tonnes. This was further reinforced in a recently published article by Mysteel, that an unnamed source had disclosed that up to 70 million tonnes of steelmaking capacity is unreported. By contrast, the latest figure issued by the country’s National Bureau of Statistics is 785 million tonnes.

Mr Xu’s assessment of crude steel output, in 2013, is broadly in line with MEPS latest calculated minimum figure of 815 million tonnes, published in the latest issue of MEPS CHINA STEEL REVIEW. Perhaps the disclosures from the two local steel sector experts will generate action from the authorities responsible for providing production statistics for the steel industry in China.

It is not satisfactory to have doubts about the accuracy of steel production statistics – particularly, for a country as large as China’s with its importance to the global mining sector and steel supply. Moreover, how can the authorities make meaningful decisions about investment, rationalisation, emissions control, privatisation issues etc for an industry in which there is no consensus about the most basic statistic – the level of output?

It is even more surprising when one considers the amount of analysis that takes place, almost on a daily basis, about the industry. Production from a part of the industry is reported three times every month. Percentage changes are analysed to two decimal places and the results reported in the press.

Steel prices are collected and published daily by a number of different organisations. We see futures contracts for steel products and raw materials. All this activity takes place with no concern for the accuracy of the industry’s production data.

Why do the authorities allow this situation to continue? MEPS highlighted the problem three years ago. It has now been confirmed by two steel industry insiders. It is not surprising that the sector was allowed to over-invest in steel manufacturing when the authorities fail to monitor accurately the size of a key matrix – the country’s output.

Source: MEPS China Steel Review – August Edition

India’s Automotive Cold Rolled Steel Sheet Plant Celebrated Its Opening

In January 2011, Nippon Steel and Sumitomo Metal Corporation (NSSMC) (Representative Director and President: Kosei Shindo) and Tata Steel Limited (TSL) (Managing Director: T.V. Narendran) agreed to form Jamshedpur Continuous Annealing & Processing Company Private Limited (JCAPCPL), a joint venture company for manufacture and sale of automotive cold-rolled sheets. Construction of a plant soon followed. In May 2014, JCAPCPL began operation, and on September 1, 2014 held an opening ceremony at the plant site. The ceremony was attended by government officials, customers, and other invited parties.

JCAPCPL can produce high-tensile steel sheet and other high-end cold rolled sheets for automobiles as it utilizes TSL’s excellent steelmaking infrastructure atJamshedpur Works and NSSMC’s state-of-the-art equipment and manufacturing technologies.

The automobile market in India, with its bright prospects for continued growth, is an important market for NSSMC and TSL. Through this joint venture, both companies will strive to respond to Indian automakers’ needs for high-grade high-quality automotive steel sheets.

Source: Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation

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