ArcelorMittal Invests Heavily in German Automotive Steel Plant

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Photo: Hessam Bakhtiarzadeh

Steel giant ArcelorMittal has has switched to a new symmetrical format for continuous casting line two at its steel plant in Duisburg, Germany, offering customers in the automotive supply sector high-quality steel ingots for producing forgings. The format includes gearbox parts, which create less vibration in the engine and consequently reduce noise emissions.

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ArcelorMittal has spent about $267 million in the past four years in its site in Duisburg, of which $180 million was invested on a state-of-the-art wire rod mill. The new wire rod mill utilizes the latest technologies and processes high-strength and ultra-high-strength steels which enables thermo-mechanical rolling processes. High-strength steel is one way automakers can reduce overall fleet weight to comply with tougher Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) that will go into effect in the US in the next model year.

The company also plans to invest $8.6 million in the format change in order to adapt the plant to future requirements and to increase its competitiveness. The planned investments will change the mould format of continuous casting line two and will also improve the rolling tolerance, thereby increasing the quality of the product.

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Chinese steel prices closed flat for the day. The price of iron ore 58% fines from India hit a high price of CNY 840.00 ($136.74) and a low price of CNY 830.00 ($135.11) per dry metric ton. The price of Chinese HRC remained essentially flat at CNY 3,380 ($550.22) per metric ton. For the fifth day in a row, the price of Chinese coking coal remained essentially flat at CNY 1,390 ($226.27) per metric ton.

The cash price of steel billet was unchanged on the LME at $420.00 per metric ton. For the fifth consecutive day, the 3-month price of steel billet held flat on the LME at $425.00 per metric ton.

For the fifth day in a row, the 3-month price of the US HRC futures contract remained essentially flat at $645.00 per short ton. The US HRC futures contract spot price held steady at $675.00 per short ton.

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