MOBILE, AL - ThyssenKrupp's new stainless steel mill in the US state of Alabama has gone into operation. Production has begun with one cold rolling mill. Cold-rolled capacity is initially 100,000 metric tons a year and will increase over time to a maximum 140,000 tons a year. The material now being produced is 64 inches wide.
Various units have gone into operation to produce and further process the cold-rolled strip, including a Sendzimir mill, a cold-rolled annealing and pickling line, a skin pass stand as well as finishing equipment such as coil polishing, slitting and cut-to-length lines.
"Three very challenging years are behind us. The start of production marks a key milestone. I am proud of our team, who has mastered this complex project so successfully in a difficult economic environment," says Dr. Ulrich Albrecht-Früh, CEO of ThyssenKrupp Stainless USA. "For our customers it represents an important signal. They can now source their material directly from our new state-of-the-art mill and can find people here who can deal with their specific requirements e.g. sizes, something we couldn't offer economically in the USA before."
Work on building the new site to produce carbon and stainless steel flat products began in 2007 in partnership with ThyssenKrupp Steel USA. The capital investment for the integrated stainless mill in Calvert is around $1.4 billion. In preparation for the hot commissioning of the stainless equipment, the first white coils were shipped to the USA by ThyssenKrupp Nirosta in June 2010.
Following startup, production on the cold rolling mill is now being ramped up step by step using material supplied from ThyssenKrupp's stainless mills in Europe. Construction of the other units is either planned or in progress. For example, the foundation works for the hotrolled annealing and pickling line began in January 2010, with startup scheduled for fall 2011.
The equipment in place and still to be built will give ThyssenKrupp Stainless USA a unique selling proposition with the widest material available on the US market. The construction and ramp-up of the remaining units is being kept flexible. This also applies to the startup of the melt shop.
ThyssenKrupp is already well placed on the NAFTA market for stainless steel flat products. In the US its market share is roughly 12 percent, in Canada over 15 percent, and in Mexico the company is market leader with more than 70 percent.
Up to now, most shipments have come from the ThyssenKrupp Mexinox mill in San Luis Potosí and the European plants of the ThyssenKrupp Stainless group. Marketing is handled by an efficient sales company in Chicago, which is now also offering customers the products made by ThyssenKrupp Stainless USA in Calvert.