Metal Fabricated Parts

Today in MetalCrawler, Sherritt International gets another executive, Alcoa is now in the efficient automotive production business and the EU is imposing tariffs on Chinese Steel.

Sherritt Hires ArcelorMittal Canada Exec.

Sherritt International Corp. has named ArcelorMittal Mining Canada President and CEO Steve Wood as its new COO effective from April 27.

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Wood will oversee Sherritt’s operations in Canada, Cuba and Madagascar, including the environmental, health and safety, sustainability, technology, engineering and marketing functions.

Alcoa Gets a Gov’t Loan For Efficient Vehicles

The US Department of Energy has offered a conditional commitment to lend Alcoa Inc. $259 million to expand automotive aluminum sheet production capacity at the supplier’s Tennessee factory, reviving a long-dormant loan program to support the development of energy-efficient vehicles.

The funds will finance most of the costs of a $275 million expansion project already under way at the plant, where Alcoa is converting capacity previously used for making aluminum cans to produce high-strength aluminum for automakers. The project began in 2013 and is expected to add 200 permanent jobs after its mid-2015 completion, plus an additional 400 jobs during peak construction, the company and the DOE said.

EU Imposes Anti-Dumping Duties on Chinese Steel

The European Union will impose anti-dumping duties from Thursday on imports of cold-rolled flat stainless steel from China and Taiwan, according to a notice on Wednesday in the EU’s Official Journal.

The EU will apply tariffs of up to 25.2% for sheet, coil and strip imports from China and up to 12 percent for Taiwanese product, following a complaint lodged in May 2014 by the European steel producers association, Eurofer.

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The biggest monthly gain in petroleum prices in more than three years caused construction materials prices to increase 0.4% in February, ending a six-month streak of falling prices, according to the March 13 producer price index release by the Bureau of Labor Statistics analyzed by the Associated Builders and Contractors of America.

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Year-over-year construction input prices fell 3.9%. Nonresidential construction input prices also rose 0.4% on a monthly basis and were down 4.9% on a yearly basis.

“While conventional wisdom suggests that oil and natural gas prices will eventually rise, the adjustment period could be a lengthy one, and although crude petroleum prices were up 12.3% on a monthly basis, this is likely a function of an abnormally cold February,” said Associated Builders and Contractors Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “This rise is the first monthly gain since April 2014 and the eighth consecutive month in which petroleum prices were down on a year-over-year basis.”

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Metalcrawler finds metal news so you don’t have to.

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MetalCrawler scours the web for the latest metal news, whether it’s Apple inventing a new gold alloy just for its devices, major acquisitions, the price of steel or whether Marvel/Disney will finally cave and accurately change the name of its trillion dollar movie franchise to Titanium Alloy Man.

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Construction materials prices were down 3.6% from the same time last year. Data from the Department of Labor showed that there was a 2.1% fall from December to January, and a 4.6% decline on a yearly basis for nonresidential construction.

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The producer price index dipped in January, there were other material prices that rose last month.

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The Associated Builders and Contractors’ (ABC) Construction Backlog Indicator (CBI) for the fourth quarter of 2014 declined 0.1 months, or 1%. Despite the quarter-over-quarter decline, the backlog ended the year at 8.7 months, which is still 4.4% higher than 2013’s.

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“Inconsistent growth in the volume of public work continues to suppress the pace of nonresidential construction; however, private construction momentum continues to build,” said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “With hotel occupancy rising, office vacancy falling and demand for data climbing exponentially, a number of key private segments are positioned for rapid growth in construction spending this year. There are a number of factors that are likely to be beneficial to nonresidential contractors in 2015,” Basu said.

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Turner Construction‘s 2014 Green Building Market Barometer shows that interest in alternative green building rating systems is up a massive 250% in two years.

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The US Green Building Council‘s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building certification program has been the de facto standard in building certification since the middle of the last decade.

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Construction firms added jobs in 40 states and the District of Columbia between December 2013 and December 2014 while construction employment increased in 38 states and DC between November and December, according to an analysis today of Labor Department data by the Associated General Contractors of America.

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The AGC noted that construction employment gains are consistent with the optimism that most contractors expressed in the association’s recently release Construction Hiring and Business Outlook. 80% of construction firms plan to expand their payrolls this year while only 7% expect to reduce headcounts according to an AGC survey.

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2014 Showed just how much MetalMiner loves renewable energy.

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Whether it was India committing to build the world’s largest solar park, or England looking to harness the power of its tides to generate hydro power, we scoured the globe for the latest in renewable, clean energy.

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The year in construction was dominated by labor and funding scarcity that held the recovery back until the final quarter of 2014 when home building and private construction finally took off.

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While materials prices stayed low for much of the year, the inability to finance projects and the ongoing logjam in Washington forced key projects such as highway funding and oil pipelines from seeing any path to construction. It’s hard to believe that now high-flying construction was a laggard for much of the year, but that was the case right up until the beginning of summer.

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If you’ve been to a construction site in the last 10 years, you likely know that the days of huge sheet sets of plans printed ad infinitum are going away. While the level of technology adoption varies widely from job to job, the Portable Document Format (PDF) has largely replaced printed sheet sets, allowing better communication and saving trees, too.

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Although the PDF is the de facto format for digital construction documentation, national design standards haven’t yet been defined, meaning construction companies and CAD managers often have to change sharing methods and mark-ups for every job. Now, a group of design teams, constructors and every group in the construction chain, is trying to change that.

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