ArcelorMittal to complete new hot strip mill in Mexico this year

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ArcelorMittal Mexico plans to complete the construction of a new hot strip mill with a 2.5 million metric ton capacity at its steelmaking site in Lazaro Cardenas by the end of 2021, the Luxembourg-headquartered group said.

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The new mill would produce HRC for the non-auto, domestic and industrial use sectors. The mill is part of a $1 billion upgrade project that the parent group announced in 2017 for the Lazaro Cardenas site.

Up until now, the plant has produced only slab via a direct reduced iron plant and four electric arc furnaces with a crude steel capacity of 4 million metric tons per year.

Long products are also a part of ArcelorMittal Mexico’s rolling capacity. Lazaro Cardenas can roll 1.3 million metric tons per annum of long products via one blast furnace and a basic oxygen converter to produce 1.35 million metric tons of crude steel for casting into billets.

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ArcelorMittal Dofasco plans revamped hot strip mill

Further north, ArcelorMittal Dofasco plans to complete by H1 2022 the modernization of its hot strip mill. In addition, it plans to replace three end-of-life coilers with two new ones.

ArcelorMittal Dofasco is in Hamilton, in the Canadian province of Ontario. The plant can produce about 4.5 million metric tons per year of crude steel via one basic oxygen convertor and one electric arc furnace. Casts slab goes for rolling into hot rolled coil in 1.5-12.7 mm gauges and cold rolled coil up to 3.6 mm gauges.

Applications on Dofasco’s finished HRC are in construction and sheet piling. The strip also serves as feedstock on-site for tubular production, including for oil country tubular goods, automotive tubing, hollow structural sections, and spiral welded piling and pipe.

Applications for cold rolled coil rolled at Dofasco include the auto sector, white goods, construction and tubular goods.

The plant’s downstream products include various coated steel product, including hot dipped galvanized coil, tinplate and with aluminum coatings for the automotive and construction sectors as well as for pre-painted plant.

Dofasco plans to complete in H2 the addition of an aluminum silicon line to 160,000 metric tons per year of aluminum silicon coating capability to its HDG Line No. 5. That will be used for the production of auto grade sheet.

ArcelorMittal reports Q1 financials

ArcelorMittal reported a Q1 net profit of almost $2.3 billion. Meanwhile, it reported a $571 million loss over the same time in 2020.

“The first quarter of this year has been our strongest in a decade,” CEO Aditya Mittal said. “While this is naturally a very welcome development following a highly challenging 2020, we are mindful that Covid continues to be a health challenge across the world especially in developing economies.”

Groupwide sales rose 9.1% to $16.2 billion from $14.8 billion, ArcelorMittal noted.

Crude steel production fell 16.6% on the year to 17.6 million metric tons from 21.1 million metric tons.

“Operationally, we have had a very positive start to the year,” Mittal added. “We are seeing a continuation of the positive market dynamics of the fourth quarter and have been steadily bringing back production in-line with the demand recovery, which is supported by low inventory levels through the value chain.”

Strong iron ore prices and the divestment of some assets in Europe and North America have also played a large role in ArcelorMittal’s results, one analyst told MetalMiner.

“There’s plenty of pent-up demand,” the analyst added.

The benchmark iron ore price broke through the $200 barrier and last Wednesday exceeded $235 per metric ton CFR Qingdao for 62 Fe, up from approximately $227 the previous day.

In the previous week, the benchmark price for the raw material reached $186.50.

ArcelorMittal NAFTA

Earnings before interest, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) for ArcelorMittal’s NAFTA segment totaled $233 million, down 5.7% from $247 million.

Revenues dropped 41% to $2.54 billion from $4.3 billion, following the sale of ArcelorMittal USA to Cleveland Cliffs in 2020.

NAFTA’s crude production fell by more than half to 2.18 million metric tons from 5.5 million metric tons. The average steel selling price rose to in the quarter rose 18.9% to $850 per ton from $715 per ton.

Average selling prices surge in Europe

ArcelorMittal’s Europe segment saw its average steel selling price rise more than one quarter to $813 from $638.

Meanwhile, crude production in that segment fell 2.2% to 9.7 million metric tons from 9.91 million metric tons on improved activity and demand in the automotive and manufacturing sectors.

ArcelorMittal Europe has an industrial presence in 18 countries on the continent, including in Morocco, information on the group’s website showed.

The Europe segment’s EBITDA rose to almost $900 million from $204 million. Sales rose 22% from $7.65 billion to $9.35 billion, the group said.

ArcelorMittal’s focus in Europe is on CO2 reduction. In Q1, the group announced plans to build a DRI plant and electric arc furnace at ArcelorMittal Bremen in northern Germany. Furthermore, it plans to build a DRI plant and EAF at ArcelorMittal Eisenhüttenstadt, in the country’s east.

Planned crude capacity from those two furnaces is a combined 3.5 million metric tons per year by 2030.

ArcelorMittal Bremen and ArcelorMittal Eisenhüttenstadt each roll HRC and CRC using steel that it produces via two blast furnaces and two basic oxygen furnaces at each site.

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