Steel Market 01 / 2020

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01 | March 2020


The challenges of

the steel industry in

Southern Europe | 12

E-mobility as an

opportunity for the wire

and cable industry | 24


Making steel in the 2020s | 26


ArcelorMittal: Responsible

steel across Europe | 28



Everything in stock

up to 25.40 m


Heitmann Stahlhandel GmbH & Co. KG

Hansastrasse 22 · 46049 Oberhausen · Germany · fon: +49 (0)208 / 836-0

fax: +49 (0)208 / 836199 · www.heitmann-stahl.de · shp@heitmann-stahl.de

Structural Hollow Sections

Warm / Cold

Everything in stock

up to 18.10 m


Heitmann Stahlhandel GmbH & Co. KG

Hansastrasse 22 · 46049 Oberhausen · Germany · fon: +49 (0)208 / 836-0

fax: +49 (0)208 / 836199 · www.heitmann-stahl.de · shp@heitmann-stahl.de


»Climate-neutral steel production will

fundamentally change the industry.

Even a virus won‘t be able to change that.«

Dear readers,

Within the steel industry a lot of

thought is put into current challenges

– trade wars and punitive

tariffs, rising raw material prices,

the automobile industry’s declining

sales figures, investments to

tackle climate change, opportunities

and risks of digitalisation. Then,

suddenly, a small virus, called SARS-

CoV-2, enters the scene and makes everything

else take a back seat. International

trade shows are being postponed, entire plants are

closing down and supply chains are being disrupted.

What does all this mean? Will the global economy collapse

or will we get away with a slight cold? The full

scale of the consequences won’t reveal itself for another

couple of weeks or even months.

Philipp Isenbart,


In this issue, we will focus on the industry’s ongoing challenges

because they will soon catch up with us again.

One concern is the situation in Southern Europe, especially

in Italy. Credit insurance expert Coface describes it

as »very risky« (page 12). We’ll also look at the pipe and

wire industries, which are undergoing exciting developments

(page 24). Exclusive statements by the CEOs of

XOM Materials (page 34) and Van Leeuwen (page 36)

give insights into new trends in the trade. But before

trade comes production: several articles take a closer

look at the future of climate-neutral steel production

(pages 26, 28, 30). This topic will fundamentally change

the industry over the next couple of years. Even a virus

won’t be able to change that.

On this note, I hope you’ll enjoy reading this issue – and

above all, stay healthy!

01 | 2020 3

Contents 01 | 2020


SPECIAL: Italy and Southern Europe

The two Coface experts Marcos Carias (left)

and Christiane von Berg took a close

look at the steel industry in Southern




ArcelorMittal aims to produce steel in

a climate-neutral manner. The photo

shows the Midrex plant in Hamburg,




6 Hot metal desfurization and dedusting

system successfully commissioned at

ArcelorMittal Monlevade

7 Sublance system for Tangshan Reafon

and Hegang Laoting

8 Coke oven gas injection systems for

ROGESA‘ s blast furnaces

9 Global Steel Wire places order for

a Six-Strand Billet Caster

10 Al Gharbia commissions new LSAW

large-diameter pipe mill

11 Jindal Stainless modernises solution

for AOD converters


26 Making steel in the 2020s

27 Kentucky: Nucor Corporation is

investing in a new mill

28 ArcelorMittal: Responsible steel

across Europe

30 H2FUTURE: voestalpine‘s »green« hydrogen

pilot facility commences operation

31 SSAB initiates study in Finland

32 Phase-out of mineral oil /

phase-in of metals?


33 thyssenkrupp invests in customer

shopping experience


Italy and Southern Europe

12 Interview: The challenges of the steel

industry in Southern Europe

15 »Consumption level back to normal«

16 The future of the Ilva steelworks

is still uncertain

18 New combustion system for

ArcelorMittal Asturias

19 Caleotto: Feralpi to take over

Duferco’s holding

wire & Tube 2020

20 New date for wire and Tube


21 Energy-efficient systems for heat

transfer are in demand

22 wire+Tube – a brief history of a

worldwide success

24 Increasingly electrified

34 Interview: »Room for improvement«

36 The Van Leeuwen Pipe and Tube Group

has purchased Benteler Distribution


5 World crude steel production

38 People

39 Advertiser’s index

42 In the next issue / Imprint

Copyright: Coface; ArcelorMittal

4 01 | 2020

World crude steel production


January January % change

6 Months

2020 2019 January 20/19 2020 2019

(1) - HADEED only.

(2) - the 64 countries included in this table accounted for approximately 99% of total world crude steel production in 2018.

e - estimated

% change

Austria 631 685 -8,0 631 685 -8,0

Belgium 505 e 635 -20,5 505 635 -20,5

Bulgaria 45 e 45 1,1 45 45 1,1

Croatia 10 e 16 -37,8 10 16 -37,8

Czech Republic 400 440 -9,1 400 440 -9,1

Finland 332 330 0,6 332 330 0,6

France 1 294 1 238 4,5 1 294 1 238 4,5

Germany 2 845 e 3 455 -17,7 2 845 3 455 -17,7

Greece 95 e 124 -23,4 95 124 -23,4

Hungary 165 e 156 5,8 165 156 5,8

Italy 1 874 1 971 -4,9 1 874 1 971 -4,9

Luxembourg 100 e 189 -47,1 100 189 -47,1

Netherlands 598 617 -3,2 598 617 -3,2

Poland 640 e 845 -24,2 640 845 -24,2

Slovenia 55 e 58 -4,9 55 58 -4,9

Spain 760 e 1 152 -34,0 760 1 152 -34,0

Sweden 425 462 -8,1 425 462 -8,1

United Kingdom 666 606 9,8 666 606 9,8

Other E.U. (28) (e) 855 e 941 -9,1 855 941 -9,1

European Union (28) 12 293 13 964 -12,0 12 293 13 964 -12,0

Bosnia-Herzegovina 70 e 72 -2,7 70 72 -2,7

Macedonia 25 e 18 37,5 25 18 37,5

Norway 62 60 2,9 62 60 2,9

Serbia 135 176 -23,3 135 176 -23,3

Turkey 3 014 2 569 17,3 3 014 2 569 17,3

Europe 3 306 2 895 14,2 3 306 2 895 14,2

Byelorussia 230 e 216 6,5 230 216 6,5

Kazakhstan 350 e 217 61,3 350 217 61,3

Moldova 20 e 12 66,7 20 12 66,7

Russia 6 000 e 6 256 -4,1 6 000 6 256 -4,1

Ukraine 1 843 1 850 -0,4 1 843 1 850 -0,4

Uzbekistan 50 e 46 8,7 50 46 8,7

C.I.S. (6) 8 493 8 597 -1,2 8 493 8 597 -1,2

Canada 1 090 e 1 166 -6,5 1 090 1 166 -6,5

Cuba 20 e 19 6,8 20 19 6,8

El Salvador 10 e 8 17,8 10 8 17,8

Guatemala 25 e 26 -3,9 25 26 -3,9

Mexico 1 375 e 1 636 -15,9 1 375 1 636 -15,9

United States 7 707 7 518 2,5 7 707 7 518 2,5

North America 10 227 10 373 -1,4 10 227 10 373 -1,4

Argentina 298 371 -19,6 298 371 -19,6

Brazil 2 680 3 015 -11,1 2 680 3 015 -11,1

Chile 110 e 81 35,0 110 81 35,0

Colombia 95 e 96 -1,5 95 96 -1,5

Ecuador 50 e 51 -1,6 50 51 -1,6

Paraguay 5 e 2 131,2 5 2 131,2

Peru 90 e 101 -10,6 90 101 -10,6

Uruguay 5 e 6 -22,7 5 6 -22,7

Venezuela 0 e 4 -100,0 0 4 -100,0

South America 3 333 3 728 -10,6 3 333 3 728 -10,6

Egypt 575 e 722 -20,4 575 722 -20,4

Libya 65 e 29 123,7 65 29 123,7

South Africa 398 e 521 -23,7 398 521 -23,7

Africa 1 038 1 272 -18,4 1 038 1 272 -18,4

Iran 2 895 e 1 971 46,9 2 895 1 971 46,9

Qatar 230 221 3,9 230 221 3,9

Saudi Arabia (1) 412 469 -12,2 412 469 -12,2

United Arab Emirates 303 304 -0,3 303 304 -0,3

Middle East 3 841 2 966 29,5 3 841 2 966 29,5

China 84 269 e 78 594 7,2 84 269 78 594 7,2

India 9 288 9 591 -3,2 9 288 9 591 -3,2

Japan 8 244 8 142 1,3 8 244 8 142 1,3

South Korea 5 753 6 252 -8,0 5 753 6 252 -8,0

Pakistan 260 e 255 2,0 260 255 2,0

Taiwan, China 1 700 e 1 990 -14,6 1 700 1 990 -14,6

Thailand 365 e 340 7,3 365 340 7,3

Vietnam 1 530 e 1 746 -12,4 1 530 1 746 -12,4

Asia 111 409 106 909 4,2 111 409 106 909 4,2

Australia 440 468 -5,9 440 468 -5,9

New Zealand 55 56 -1,6 55 56 -1,6

Oceania 495 523 -5,4 495 523 -5,4

Total 64 countries (2) 154 436 151 228 2,1 154 436 151 228 2,1

01 | 2020 5

Industry & Technology


Hot metal desfurization and dedusting system successfully

commissioned at ArcelorMittal Monlevade

ArcelorMittal Monlevade has commenced operation

of a 130-tonne-hot-metal desulfurization station

(DeS) and a new dedusting system supplied by Primetals

Technologies. The desulfurization station represents

the first installation of Primetals Technologies

combining a volumetric dosing device for Magnesium

(Mg) and a pressure dispenser for Calcium Oxide

(CaO). Low sulfur levels of lesser than 0.005%

(50ppm) can be achieved. The consumption of desulfurization

agents is significantly reduced and processing

times are reduced to less than 30 minutes compared

to treatment in a torpedo car. A handling system

for 130-t-hot-metals ladles was also part of the

project. The new equipment is part of an expansion

and quality improvement program at ArcelorMittal


Danieli to modernize the Algoma steel plate mill in Ontario

Danieli, along with Danieli Automation

and Danieli Taranis, are the

supplier team chosen for a complete

upgrade of the 166-in. wide plate

mill of Algom a Steel in Sault Ste.

Maire, Ontario. The project will allow

Algoma to expand its product portfolio

to include wider plate products,

to better control shape and surface

quality and to improve logistics –

making it possible to offer enhanced

ship on time performance. The plant

will be completely re-automated by

Danieli Automation from Level 0

through to Level 2 systems. Along

with new process equipment and new

digital drives, this will allow Algoma to

perform normalized – or controlled

– rolling, so that it can supply new

grades of plate to the shipbuilding,

energy and bridge building sectors.

Additionally, Danieli Taranis will provide

engineering and post-commissioning

support. Danieli’s scope of

work will include an overhaul of the

complete plant automation system

and the installation of a new primary

de-scaler, a new hot-leveler and a

new cooling bed. A new dividing

shear, piling system, ‚top-to-bottom‘

automated inspection system and

plate marking machine will upgrade

the finishing area.

New AOD converter torque retainer from SMS group

For North American Stainless (NAS) in Ghent, Kentucky, SMS group has commissioned a torque retainer for

the 160-tonne AOD converter no. 1. The aim of the revamp was to reduce the torque that had previously been

causing uncontrolled vibrations and damage to the bull gear, bearings, and foundations of the converter drive

during AOD converter operation. As a result, the uncontrolled vibrations in the gear unit and converter vessel

were substantially reduced. The target values were achieved under production conditions shortly after commissioning.

SMS group supplied the torque retainer as a compact electrohydraulic unit. The scope of supply also

included the engineering, supervision of the erection and installation work, and technical assistance during

commissioning. Both the cold and hot commissioning were completed jointly with the customer.

First coil at Nucor Steel Gallatin‘s pickling and galvanizing line

Pickling and galvanizing of the first coil in September

2019, marked the production start of the new »heatto-coat«

process line at Nucor Steel Gallatin in Ghent,

Kentucky. SMS group delivered the whole line, and

notes that the »heat-to-coat« technology is characterized

by the compact and operator-friendly U-shape

design, the turbulence pickling system, the high-power

inductive heating system, the FOEN galvanizing equipment

and the Drever after-pot cooling system. The line

is designed to produce 500,000 tonnes of galvanized

hot strip per year with a maximum capacity of 180 tonnes

per hour and a large strip cross section (up to 6.35

millimeter thickness and up to 1,854 millimeter width),

which sets a new standard in hot strip galvanizing. The

»heat-to-coat« process based on SMS patented technology

permits the production of galvanized steel strip

with durable corrosion protection, an appealing visual

appearance, as well as an increased mechanical

load-capacity while still maintaining low production

and investment costs, SMS group says.

6 01 | 2020


Industry & Technology

North Star BlueScope Steel: Single-strand continuous caster

North Star BlueScope Steel, located in Delta, Ohio, has selected SMS group as the supplier for its new singlestrand

thin-slab continuous caster. The new casting machine will have a thickness range of 95 to 110 millimeters

and a width range of 900 to 1,595 millimeters. It will allow North Start BlueScope Steel to increase

thin-slab production from 2.2 million tonnes (2.4 million short tons) to over 3.3 million tonnes (3.6 million

short tons) per year. To digitalize the casting process, SMS group is going to supply a range of innovative

technology packages. The new casting machine will be equipped with X-Pact ® Width Control, X-Pact Solid

Control that includes width-dependent air-mist secondary cooling and solidification control, Level 2 X-Pact

Cast Optimizer and the HD mold mold monitoring system.

Sublance system for Tangshan Reafon and Hegang Laoting

Danieli Corus has signed two contracts

for in total four sublance

systems to be installed in China.

Tangshan Reafon Iron & Steel has

contracted Danieli Corus to implement

a sublance-based BOF process

control system with SDM Process

Model for one of the 210-ton converters

at the Tangshan, Hebei

plant. Hegang Laoting ordered

three sublance systems with SDM

Process Model and ASCON slag

control system, to be implemented

at the 120-ton converters of BOF

Shop No. 2 at their plant in the Laoting

Economic Development Area,

Danieli‘s DMS SkinPass 4Hi at SDI in Pittsburgh

Hebei Province. This order follows

those placed by Hegang Laoting

for the supply of three systems for

BOF Plant No. 1, in 2018 and 2019.

Copyright: Danieli

Steel Dynamics ordes skin-pass mill from Fives

Steel Dynamics, Inc. (SDI) has selected Fives for a high

efficiency skin-pass mill - DMS SkinPass 4Hi - at the

GalvTech facility of its Techs Division in Pittsburgh,

Pennsylvania. For high quality strip finishing, a skinpass

mill is essential to remove the yield-point elongation

effect and greatly improve the surface roughness

and flatness. The DMS SkinPass 4Hi, a new skin-pass

mill from Fives, is designed to improve performance

and surface quality of a continuous galvanizing line.

The mill is a wet process type with a maximum rolling

force of 5500 kN. SDI and Fives ignited a preferred

partnership last year, having signed a major contract

for the design and supply of a new continuous galvanizing

line (CGL No. 3) and an upgrade of the continuous

galvanizing line (CGL No. 2), both located in Columbus,


Now Arvedi ESP line to steel producer in Hebei Province

A Chinese steel producer located in Hebei Province has placed an order with Primetals Technologies for the supply

of an Arvedi ESP (Endless Strip Production) line. The casting-rolling facility will be part of a new steelmaking

facility with one BOF currently under construction. The Arvedi ESP line is capable of rolling strip to a reproducible

strip thicknesses down to 0.7 mm, The Arvedi ESP plant will allow the steel producer to better serve the highly

attractive local and export markets for high-quality, thin-gauge strip products, Primetals notes, adding that the

180-meter-long plant is far more compact than conventional casting and rolling mills. According to news service

Kallanish Steel, the customer is Taihang Iron & Steel.

01 | 2020 7

Industry & Technology


World‘s largest clutch-operated screw press

AVIC Shaanxi Hongyuan Aviation

Forging Co., Ltd. has put the world‘s

largest clutch-operated screw

press into operation at its site in

Xi’an, Shaanxi Province. The

SPKA-type clutch-operated screw

press, which was supplied by SMS

group, has a screw diameter of

1,330 millimeters, a hard-on-hard

blow force of 365 MN, a gross power

of 27,000 kJ and a weight of

2,900 tonnes. It is already the worldwide

third clutch-operated screw

press of this size supplied by SMS

group, and with its performance

data exceeds the other two existing

presses delivered before.

The clutch-operated screw press

requires far less stroke to achieve

the preset ram speed than a conventional

slipping-wheel screw

press. The maximum ram speed is

attained after just 10% of the ram

stroke, and remains at a constant

level until the ram hits the part

being forged. This type of press is

particularly suitable for high-energy

forging as typically used for turbine

blades or structural aircraft

components, for example.

Quenching and HSD lines successfully commissioned

Quenching and HSD lines from SMS group at Daehan Sinpyeong. South Korean Daehan Steel Co., Ltd.

has re-started production with new SMS group quenching and high-speed lines following the successful

modernization of the Sinpyeong bar mill. The Final Acceptance Certificate (FAC) was signed two months

ahead of the original schedule, SMS group notes. The main target of the modernization was to reduce the

ferro-alloys content in the billets, which results in a substantial reduction in production costs. The upgrade

also aimed to improve the production efficiency with a product range from 16 to 35 millimeters rebar and

steel grades up to SD600.

Coke oven gas injection systems for ROGESA‘ s blast furnaces

ROGESA Roheisengesellschaft Saar mbH, the pig iron

plant in Germany’s state of Saarland, owned jointly by

Dillinger Hütten und Saarstahl, has awarded Paul

Wurth with the order to design and supply coke oven

gas injection systems for the company’s blast furnaces

No. 4 and No. 5. With this new technology, coke oven

gas will become a metallurgical process gas instead of

being used to produce energy at a low efficiency level.

In its new role, coke oven gas will partially replace

both pulverized coal and metallurgical coke as reducing

agents in the blast furnace process, thus contributing

to reducing the carbon intensity in the blast

furnace as well as the carbon footprint of the overall

ironmaking operations.

ROGESA, the pig iron plant in Saarland, Germany

Copyright: ROGESA

World‘s first DUE plant commissioned

Danieli is currently commissioning the world’s first DUE

plant at Shougang Jingtang, Caofeidian Industrial Area,

Tangshan city, Hebei province. This new concept in thinslab

casting and rolling unifies all the winning features

that have been demonstrated up to now in a single production

line, using either endless or coil-to-coil rolling in

separate production lines while eliminating the limiting

factors of each. The single-strand thin-slab caster regularly

produces slabs reduced from 130 mm (mould exit)

to 110 mm (TSC exit), using Danieli’s Dynamic Soft

Reduction technology. Coil-to-coil rolling is already a

consolidated production practice as is semi-endless

rolling, the latter being the natural step to achieve the

true casting/rolling functionality in endless mode.

8 01 | 2020


Industry & Technology

Global Steel Wire places order for a Six-Strand Billet Caster

Global Steel Wire S.A. (Celsa Group), located in Santander, Spain, has placed the order for the upgrade of their continuous

billet casting machine with SMS Concast. Steel production at Global Steel Wire S.A. (GSW) is focused on wire rod in special

steel grades for the automotive and special engineering industries. Currently, the existing caster produces roughly

900,000 tonnes of steel per year in 180 millimeter square sections. The aim of the modernization is to increase the production

flexibility by broadening the range of cast formats by the addition of 200 to 240 millimeter square sections, increasing

the casting speeds, and consequently enhancing the productivity and the quality of the cast products. The upgrade is

to be implemented with minimized interruption of production. The start-up of the upgraded machine is scheduled for

early 2021. The order includes the installation of CONDRIVE mold oscillation drive systems on all strands. CONDRIVE has

already been tested and has been successfully running on one strand at Global Steel Wire since October 2018.

Ural Steel selects Danieli DANCU Technology for BF modernization

As part of a large scale, technical

overhaul project on Blast Furnaces No.

2 and 3 at the Ural Steel plant in Novotroitsk,

Russian steel producer Metalloinvest

has selected Danieli technology

to upgrade Blast Furnace No.

3’s charging system. The furnace will

be equipped with a modern chutetype

distributor based on hydraulics

for maximum reliability and availability.

The Danieli distributor (DANCU) has

only a few moving parts, and it is the

most straightforward, robust design

in the industry. All main components

are either failure-free or redundant,

ensuring unparalleled reliability. To

allow implementation without large-scale

modifications to the existing

top structure of Ural Steel plant’s Blast

Furnace No. 3, Danieli Centro Metallics

and Danieli Corus have developed

the Compact DANCU, which has a

slightly shorter maximum chute

length, the plantbuilder underlines.

Copyright: Danieli

Danieli‘s DANCU at Ural Steel

in Novotroitsk

Sublance systems for Severstal Cherepovets

Severstal has contracted Danieli Corus to design and supply three sublance systems for three 350t converters at the

BOF Shop at Cherepovets. Danieli Corus is the market leader in sublance-based BOF process control, and the implementation

of this technology will contribute to Severstal’s objective of achieving lower steel production costs while

maintaining efficiency and quality. Sublance technology, in combination with a state-of-the-art process model, enables

shorter tap-to-tap times, higher hit rates and reduced consumption of oxygen, energy and flux materials, while

improving operating conditions. Danieli Corus systems have a proven, unparalleled capability of trouble-free operation

for multiple decades in the hostile environment above the converter hood.

China’s Jingye Group will be taking over

certain assets of British Steel

According to a statement from the UK Official Receiver’s

(OR) office, »the Official Receiver and Special

Managers from EY can confirm that a sales contract has

been entered into with Jingye Steel (UK) Ltd and Jingye

Steel (UK) Holding Ltd (together, Jingye), to acquire the

business and assets of British Steel Limited (BSL), including

the steelworks at Scunthorpe, UK mills and shares

of FN Steel BV, British Steel France Rail SAS and TSP Engineering.«

British Steel had entered administration in

May when former owners Greybull Capital had declared

the company as bankrupt. It has since continued to operate

under the direction of special managers appointed

by the UK government’s OR. »Jingye plans to invest £1.2

billion in the business over the next decade in upgrading

the plants and machinery, improving the new company’s

environmental performance and boosting energy efficiency

to place the operations on a more competitive

and sustainable footing,« the Chinese steelmaker says.

01 | 2020 9

Industry & Technology


Al Gharbia commissions new LSAW large-diameter pipe mill

Arab steel producer, Al Gharbia

Pipe Company, has commissioned

a new Longitudinal Submerged

Arc Welded (LSAW) large-diameter

pipe mill in the Khalifa Industrial

Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD). A

consortium built it with Larsen &

Toubro and SMS group as the

contractor for engineering, procurement

and construction (EPC).

The plant is designed for a production

capacity of 240,000 metric

tons per year. The products

manufactured are mainly designed

for onshore & offshore

line pipes including sour gas applications.

Al Gharbia intends to

produce pipes with a length of

up to 12.2 meters and an outer

diameter of 18 to 56 inches.

Material qualities up to X80 will

be processed, with a maximum

wall thickness of 44.5 millimetres.

One of the production line’s special

features is the JCO tube forming

process developed by SMS group.

According to the company, the

operator can quickly change to

other tube dimensions and produce

small batch sizes.

Grange Resources receives steel plate conveyor from Aumund

Australian company Grange Resources recently replaced its belt conveyor at its Port Latte pellet plant

with a steel plate conveyor from Aumund. According to the German conveyor engineers, the new belt

conveyor is designed for hot material (KZB-H) of up to 1000 °C. This enables the hot iron ore pellets to be

transported continuously and trouble-free from the shaft furnace to the condenser. Grange Resources

intends to use this measure to avoid regular plant shutdowns. These were previously unavoidable because

the belts of the old plant required replacing approximately every 40 days. It also increased productions

costs. According to Aumund, commissioning is expected to take place in May of this year.

Spain: Acerinox relies on torque support from SMS group

SMS group has commissioned a torque arm for the

120-ton AOD converter No. 2 at Acerinox Europa in

Cádiz, Spain. The conversion aimed to minimise the

destructive forces acting on the gear unit, bearings

and foundation during operation of the converter. By

using the new electrohydraulic torque support, it was

also possible to achieve a significant reduction of the

uncontrolled vibrations of the gear unit and the converter

vessel, says SMS group. According to them, the

target values concerning the reduction of the torque

were exceeded only a short time after commissioning.

Gear unit of an AOD converter with vertical torque support

Copyright: SMS group

Noodle.ai and SMS digital launch AI-driven

application for the steel industry

The Mechanical Properties Variability (MPV) application

has created the possibility to get a grip on the variability of

mechanical material properties in the steel production

process. The new approach, created by Noodle.ai and SMS

digital, is based on the ability to »sense« correlations using

artificial intelligence (AI). The application makes predictions

and concrete recommendations. The focus lies on a

property’s yield strength, tensile strength and elongation.

The application detects patterns within the recorded production

data and can identify causes for deviations from

the required mechanical material properties. It can predict

when major fluctuations occur and specify the input parameters

and PDI settings. Using the Process Data Input

(PDI), the specified values for the material property’s yield

strength, tensile strength and elongation can be set. As a

result, the MPV application can help steel manufacturers

save costs in several ways, e.g. by reducing alloying costs

through better control of variability.

10 01 | 2020


Industry & Technology

Posco SS Vina from Vietnam sells rebar rolling mill

Vietnamese company Posco SS Vina has sold its rebar rolling mill to Hilco Industrial Acquisitions. Danieli delivered the mill

in 2015. It consists among other things of a walking-beam furnace, 18 mill stands and a cold shear. Posco SS Vina intends

to concentrate its remaining section mill on the manufacture of products such as H-beams. In December last year, it was

already announced that the Japanese Yamato Kogyo Group had acquired a 49 per cent stake in the company.

NLMK and Paul Wurth complete relining of blast furnace

Blast furnace no. 6 at the NLMK

Group’s main plant in Lipetsk, Russia,

has been completely relined. It has a

frame diameter of 12 meters and a

useful volume of 3,813 cubic meters. It

is equipped with 32 blowing moulds

and designed for a nominal output of

3.4 million tons of pig iron per year.

The new blast furnace designed and

equipped by Paul Wurth has now

been blown in. The supplies included

the blast furnace steel jacket and the

hearth using super-microporous carbon

material and a ceramic cup. The

company also provided all other refractory

materials, cooling elements,

tuyères and their cooling rings.

Furthermore, it supplied low-energy

blast connections and a completely

new hot blast ring pipe. Also, the original

Bell Less Top (BLT) system, which

was the first installation of this kind in

the former Soviet Union, was modernised

in 1978.

Photo: Paul Wurth

The new blast furnace No. 6 at NLMK in

Lipetsk, Russia

Jindal Stainless modernises solution for AOD converters

Primetals Technologies has commissioned a new Level 2

system at Jindal Stainless on AOD converter No. 1. According

to a press release, initial experiences in operation

have shown that production processes are much more

stable. The core of this level 2 process automation is a

dynamic process model, which enables both a preliminary

calculation and an online simulation of the process. According

to Primetals, errors can be avoided by pre-calculating

the melts, as the feed materials can be prepared in

good time. »The exact calculation of the temperature and

coal flow during production in real-time improves the

process accuracy and the quality of the stainless steel produced«,

the company writes. A further advantage of the

modernisation is a »Digital Twin« through which all-important

process data will be collected. This data can be

used for further optimisation or new development.

China Steel Corporation upgrades RH plant in Kaoshiung

Taiwanese steel producer China

Steel Corporation (CSC) has placed

an order with SMS Mevac for the

modernisation of the oldest RH

plant in its Kaoshiung steelworks.

CSC uses it the plant for hydrogen

degassing to produce a high-quality

heavy plate. SMS Mevac will

equip the plant with a new

four-stage steam jet vacuum

pump. As a result of the increase

in suction capacity up to 600 kilograms

per hour at 0.67 mbar,

plant leaks can be more easily

Source: SMS group

compensated, according to SMS

group. Also, shorter evacuation

times will be achieved. Furthermore,

the new vacuum pump can

be operated with condensation

temperatures of up to 38 °C. This

increases the flexibility of the RH

plant, especially during hot summer


A new steam jet vacuum pump

will ensure greater efficiency and

flexibility at CSC.

01 | 2020 11


Italy and Southern Europe

»Very risky«

The challenges of the steel industry in Southern Europe

What is the situation of the steel industry in Southern Europe, especially in Italy and Spain?

What are the challenges, and where lie the opportunities and prospects? Two Coface experts,

Marcos Carias, economist for Southern Europe, and Christiane von Berg, economist for Northern

Europe, took a close look at the industry. The two credit insurer’s experts describe their findings

in an interview with Steel Market European Edition.

How do you assess the situation in

the South European steel industry?

Christiane von Berg: The industry is in a

very difficult situation worldwide, but

the steel sector is showing particularly

worrying signs in Southern Europe. Both

Spain and Italy have seen their strongest

monthly decline in output in recent

times: -26% in August for Italy and -27%

in December for Spain. Though much of

this is due to the sluggish state of global

and European growth, it is worth noting

that these numbers are even worse than

during the worst months of the global

financial crisis in 08-09, or the Eurozone

crisis in 2011-2013.

Why is this the case? For one, the

»disappointing but not quite terrible«

aggregate macroeconomic figures are

hiding disparities in manufacturing and

services. While the services sector has

remained broadly resilient, the manufacturing

industry has been suffering

pressure on several fronts: tightening

environmental standards, trade shocks

from Brexit and the Sino-American trade

war. Notably, the European automotive

industry has been badly hit, and this is,

of course, one of the main clients for

Southern European Steel. Domestically,

the construction sector has also been

underwhelming. After showing signs of

a rebound in early 2019, Italian cons-

truction activity reverted to its chronic

sluggishness in the second semester, and

the signs of a slowdown in the Spanish

real-estate cycle are becoming increasingly

clear. And then, of course, there

are the well-known global trends affecting

the entire industry: a compressing

Christiane von Berg

margin between the prices of inputs

(iron ore) and the final product, global


Marcos Carias: Finally, there are country-specific

supply issues, many of them

related to public policy. In Italy, there is

this long-standing legal standoff between

ArcelorMittal and the government

over the takeover of the former

Ilva plant in Taranto. For the government,

the largest plant in Europe is too

big to fail: 8 000 jobs are on the line.

But for ArcelorMittal, the plant is too

polluting to save – it is said to be responsible

for the city’s above-average

cancer rates, among other environmental

externalities. Under the pressure

of 5-star movement (5SM) lawmakers,

the government revoked a legal

shield that protected investors from

legal liabilities related to environmental

crimes, convincing ArcelorMittal that it

was better off backing out of the deal.

Meanwhile, in Spain, the government’s

decisive move in the direction of renew-

able energy will involve a complex transition

period for the heavy industry

where energy sourcing will be more

costly and less predictable.

Marcos Carias

Copyright: Coface

How sustainable is the industry?

Carias: If we are talking about economic

viability/activity, these countries

need a combination of innovation and

restructuring to restore profitability.

Global overcapacity looks like it is here

to stay at least over the medium term,

and these countries are not cost-competitive

enough to compete in the

lower-end market segment. They need

to consolidate assets and/or move up

the value chain, but the national policy

incentives do not help here.

Regarding environmental sustain-

ability, it is a very uphill path; indeed,

as steel is a notoriously polluting industry

responsible for around 5% of global

»Spain and Italy have

seen their strongest

monthly decline in output

in recent times: -26%

in August for Italy and -27%

in December for Spain.«

Christiane von Berg, Coface,

economist for

Northern Europe

carbon emissions, and we can only expect

carbon prices to rise. A lot will

depend on the progress and pace of

adoption of cutting-edge technologies,

for instance, molten oxide electrolysis.

Support from public institutions will be

12 01 | 2020

Italy and Southern Europe


crucial for incentivising R/D and softening

the pain of the transition. For

the Ex-Ilva plant, Taranto qualifies for

aid from the upcoming European Just

Transition Fund. Beyond that, it remains

to be seen if governments and

the EU will live up to the ambitious

goals of the European Green Deal.

Finally, companies facing these kinds

of challenges cannot afford to ignore

socio-political sustainability. Every time

massive layoffs take place; this adds

fuel to the fire of populism. The counterpart

is the slow but steady erosion

of Europe’s technocratic centre; politicians

that are more likely to favour

level-headed long-term policies. To go

back to the Taranto example, investor

protection would not have suffered so

brutally if the 5SM was not in office,

and this is the direct result of stagnant

living conditions for workers. Of course,

firms must make adjustments in difficult

times. However, failing to factor in

the welfare of workers will eventually

result in a political backlash, and this

backlash has a very tangible impact on

the bottom line. This part of the conversation

is not exclusive to the steel

industry; it concerns the business community

as a whole.

I do not mean to underestimate

the hardships of these sustainability

challenges. I think they are surmountable,

but it will involve compromises,

risk-taking and goodwill from all parties


Copyright: ArcelorMittal

What do you think are the biggest

challenges for the industry?

Carias: In the long run, the biggest

challenge is to adapt to these structural

trends in a demanding environment

that will remain less than ideal.

Even in the best scenario, the growth

in demand will be slower than the

reduction of overcapacity, which makes

it difficult for companies to make the

risky investments needed to adapt to

the sustainability imperatives I highlighted

before. In the commercial

sphere, it will also be important to

diversify the clientele by getting a foot-

hold in emerging markets with good

The Spanish situation is less worrying. The picture shows the Spanish plant

of ArcelorMittal.

medium-term growth prospects. On dition, but construction is starting to

the short term, we will have to deal slow down noticeably. The extent of

with the nasty surprise of the coronavirus

outbreak. Some weeks ago, it couple of months, but Fiat-Chrysler

the damage won’t be knowable for a

looked like a rebound in Germany, has already signalled that it’s looking

and the easing of trade tensions to close one of its European plants in

would give the manufacturing industry

a chance to catch its breath. But in Wuhan. We should note that this

response to supply-chain disruptions

Italy just had its worst monthly industrial

production numbers in two years but will be of a magnitude and it comes

will be a one-off, temporary setback,

December (-3.8 year on year), and this in a very bad moment.

is before the virus started making waves. Things have changed a lot since 2003,

Spain is in a much better cyclical con-

but it can be useful to (prudently) use

01 | 2020 13


Italy and Southern Europe

the SARS epidemic as a benchmark.

Back then, the outbreak cost the Chinese

economy 1% of GDP, but industrial

activity rebounded fairly quickly, as

both the global and Chinese economies

were riding on a vigorous expansion

cycle. This time, the initial shock is likely

to be stronger, and there are fewer reasons

to expect a rebound. The only silver

lining for steel producers outside of

China could be a drop in the global iron

ore prices resulting from subdued Chinese


Is the industry prepared for them?

Carias: To varying degrees. At least by

the region’s historical standards, lever-

age is relatively low, and this, of

course, means a certain capability

to absorb shocks and get back

on its feet, assuming we eventually

get a rebound in activity.

It will be very difficult for

medium and small-scale operations

to survive in the long

term unless they are particularly

innovative or well placed

in the value chain; the sector’s

incentives are aligned towards

consolidation. We see some reactivity

in this dimension in Spain, with

Sidenor allegedly planning to mobilise

100 million euros for acquisitions in

the Basque Country region. In Italy,

nothing of substance is likely to happen

until the Taranto stalemate gets

resolved. In any case, either Arcelor-

Mittal stays and then preparedness

depends on the wider strategy of the

group; or they leave, and then Italian

steel is in for a very significant and

possibly permanent contraction.

Where do you see the biggest

weaknesses and strengths of the


Von Berg: For weaknesses, they cor-

respond to the challenges we’ve

covered so far, and I would enumerate

them as follows: the unavoidable adaptation

to stricter environmental

standards, the need for consolidation,

the unreliability of public policy, global

overcapacity, sluggish demand.

Regarding strengths, we must not

forget that steel remains at the core

of the European economic project

and that a healthy domestic steel industry

is crucial for manufacturing at

large. I am sure this is not lost on

policymakers, especially given the

historical role steel has played in the

construction of European institutions

and the single market. If the industry

is willing to make the necessary changes,

it would be reasonable for policymakers

to grade it on a curve without

sacrificing the long-term objective of

»Even in the best

scenario, the growth in

demand will be slower than the

reduction of overcapacity, which

makes it difficult for companies to

make the risky investments

needed to adapt to the

sustainability imperatives.«

Marcos Carias, Coface, economist

carbon neutrality. The EU remains,

for the moment, an institution of

technocrats, and these are people

with whom one can reach reason-

able compromises.

Despite the high labour and energy

costs, productivity in terms of output

was high in Southern Europe

compared to their northern neighbours

during the post-crisis expan-

sion. And while energy in Spain will

be expensive on the short term, in the

long term the country will be ahead

of the curve in achieving a sustain-

able energy infrastructure and this

will eventually result in lower costs.

One only has to look at the stock market

performance of Spanish renew-

able energy firms to see that there is

a future here.

for Southern Europe

How do you assess the financial

situation of the South European

steel industry?

Carias: The financials are not the worst

thing about this sector, at least from a

bird’s eye view, but here we see a dif-

ference between Spain and Italy. Lever-

age in Spain went down steeply after

the Eurozone crisis and is at what can

be considered low levels for heavy industry,

with a net debt ratio of around

8%, which is in contrast with Italy, where

leverage bounced back after reaching

30% in 2011 and now hovers around

35%. Though this is close to the histo-

rical norm, it is troubling given the

decreasing revenue and output.

What is your outlook: From the

credit insurer‘s point of view,

will the South European steel

industry be a safe business

partner in the future or

rather a risky one?

Carias: We downgraded the Italian

metals sector to »very risky«

in our latest quarterly assessment

review, the strongest risk level on

our four-level scale, and this situation

is unlikely to improve in the foreseeable

future. Risk is also high in Spain,

given the surprisingly low end-of-year

figures, but the situation is not yet nearly

as dire as it is in Italy.

What would companies have to do

to be financially stable in the long


Von Berg: Consolidate, invest in innovation

and diversify export markets.

The industry remains somewhat overexposed

to Europe and the automotive

industry. The logical step is to get

a foothold in African markets, and,

to a great extent, efforts are already

underway as Algeria is one of the

largest export destinations. Africa is

a place with great opportunities, but

also great risks (exposure to climate

risk, political instability), and it is increasingly

important to be mindful of

country risk. These are all elements

that we study with great vigilance at


14 01 | 2020

Italy and Southern Europe


»Consumption level back

to normal«

Orders for machine tools took a negative turn

In 2019, the number of orders for machine tools took a negative turn in Italy. In the fourth quarter,

the UCIMU index of machine tool orders registered a 16% downturn compared with the same

period in the previous year. The absolute value of the index was 105.5 (base 100 in 2015).

UCIMU-SISTEMI PER PRODURRE is the Italian association for machine tool, robots, automation

systems and ancillary products (NC, tools, components, accessories).

The overall numbers were affected

both by the negative performance

of the domestic market and by

weak foreign demand. Domestic orders

showed a 21.2% drop compared with

the fourth quarter of 2018. The absolute

value of the index was 172, so despite

the reduction, still positive.

Foreign orders dropped by 13.8%

compared with the October-December

period in 2018. The absolute value of

the index stood at 91.5. On an annual

basis, the total index recorded a 17.9%

decrease compared with the previous

year. This result was due to the drop in

both the domestic (-23.9%) and the

foreign markets (-15.4%).

»The downturn registered in the

fourth quarter of 2019 confirmed our

expectations,« said Massimo Carboniero,


PRODURRE. »It shows that people are

less inclined to invest, both domestically

and abroad. On the domestic front,

the index of orders placed in Italy in

2019 showed a progressive reduction,

which proves that the Italian consumption

level of production systems is

dropping back to what is typical for our

market. After all, we could not expect

the Italian demand to maintain the

growth level we experienced in the

three years of 2016-2018.«

»That said, we do need to prevent a

new freeze on investments, which would

take our manufacturing industry back

many years and nullify the good results

UCIMU-members are focusing on Asian customers, supplying them with for

example laser cutting tools.

obtained thanks to the >Industry 4.0<

Plan, with the risk of interrupting the

ongoing process of technological transformation

in our Italian industry.«

Investments needed

The results of a survey conducted by

UCIMU in 2014 on the total number of

machines in operation in Italy showed

a dangerous amount of ageing of the

production systems installed in Italian

manufacturing facilities. In ten years,

from 2005 to 2014, the factories in the

country innovated very little and the

average age of machines turned out to

be the highest ever, almost 13 years.

»Even if the competitiveness tools

implemented by the >Industry 4.0<

Plan contributed to recover from that

obsolescence, we cannot assume that

everything is solved because, in the

meantime, our foreign competitors

keep on investing and we must take

them in due consideration if we want

to preserve the competitiveness of the

Italian manufacturing industry.«

In this regard, the association thinks

that the new tax measures included in

the 2020 Budget Law, in place of Super-

and Hyper-Depreciation are technically

suited to support the upgrade of machines

and equipment and the transformation

of the Italian industry from a digital

point of view. What UCIMU does not

regard as appropriate is their applicability

period, which is always 12 months.

»For this reason,« continues Massimo

Carboniero, »we have requested the


01 | 2020 15


Italy and Southern Europe

government to consider immediately

implementing a new three-year innovation

plan to support the investments in

production technologies and have tax

credits with differentiated rates as a key

measure. Only in this way, with a mid/

long-term plan, can enterprises realistically

plan their investments and the actions

to be undertaken to continue the

process of transformation and the

upgrade of the Italian manufacturing

industry, which has started, but it is certainly

not yet accomplished.«

Complicated situation

On the foreign front, the situation is

– according to UCIMU – very complicated,

as different factors are contributing

to the uncertainty of the mid/

short-term scenario: the general economic

and political instability of many

areas in the world; the evident difficulty

of Germany, struggling to start

up again, burdened by the big question

in the automotive sector regarding

the development of electric vehicles;

the sanctions concerning exports to

important end markets for the enterprises

working in manufacturing sectors,

first of all, Russia and Iran; the

slowdown of China and the protectionist

behaviour of some important

countries, such as the United States.

While waiting for a clearer situation,

Italian machine tool manufacturers,

who have always been very flexible

and quick in reorganising their sales

in the areas characterised by the most

dynamic demand, are currently focusing

specific attention on two continuously

developing areas: the ASEAN

countries and India. Involved in a rapid

and significant process of industrial

and infrastructural development,

these areas have no appropriate local

industry of automation and production

systems. Therefore, to support

their pace of development, they must

acquire state-of-the-art technologies

from abroad. Made in Italy is a valid

response to this demand. •

ArcelorMittal and commissioners

agree to invest in modernization

The future of the Ilva steelworks is still uncertain

In the southern Italian town of Taranto, the steelworkers dare to hope again. ArcelorMittal and

the Italian government have agreed to invest in modernizing the notorious polluter together.

This means that both parties have (at least for now) put a stop to ArcelorMittal’s withdrawal from

the sales agreement.

Market experts observe that

the latest turn of events in

the drama of keeping the

steelworks Ilva up and running has

taken some of the pressure off the

Italian government, which owns the

plant in Taranto. The Italian government

wanted to negotiate the request

for an interim injunction against ArcelorMittal’s

withdrawal from the sales

agreement at the civil court in Milan

on 6 March; however, just a few days

before the hearing, ArcelorMittal and

the Ilva commissioners managed to

reach an agreement. ArcelorMittal

will go ahead with the purchase of the

steelworks and the Italian government

will withdraw its request for an interim

injunction. Furthermore, both

sides have agreed to amendments

made to the original lease and sales

contract. The new version now includes

conditions for the Italian government

to make a substantial equity investment,

which will be at least as big as

ArcelorMittal’s remaining liabilities and

which will have to be made by 30 November

2020. At the heart of the new

plan is the investment in carbon-

reduced steel production technologies.

Health Hazards

In early February, the situation still looked

very different. Investor ArcelorMittal

had sent a very strong message to

show how determined it was to reverse

the purchase of the loss-making Ilva

steelworks made in November 2018 by

withdrawing its management team

from Taranto. The management of the

largest steel group in the world felt

justified in using a termination clause in

the contract. The clause stated that in

the case of ArcelorMittal’s approximately

4.2-billion-euro takeover and redevelopment,

the company wouldn’t have

to pay for the previous operators’ ecological

damages until the completion of

their redevelopment works in 2023. For

this reason, the government at the time

promised the Luxembourg-based investor

»legal immunity«.

In 2019, the succeeding government

threatened to take away the steel giant’s

previously agreed-upon immunity.

This resulted in ArcelorMittal losing

interest in investing its own money into

16 01 | 2020

Italy and Southern Europe


In 2018 ArcelorMittal purchased the steelworks.

Copyright: ArcelorMittal

transforming the polluter in southern

Italy into »Europe’s most modern steel

mill« and turning the polluted and

polluting factory site into a green oasis.

This happened even though the first

step in redeveloping the site had already

been implemented right after the

takeover. Back then, ArcelorMittal invested

300 million euros in a roof for

the coal and iron ore tips.


Right from the start, the takeover of

»southern Italy’s dying colossus« (Tagesspiegel)

seems to have been ill-fated.

In January 2019, just a few months

after ArcelorMittal signed a one-year

lease agreement for the Ilva mill, the

European Court of Human Rights

found Italy guilty of ongoing health

hazards caused by the steelworks in

Taranto. Studies revealed that pollution

caused by the plant had been

responsible for a rise in cancer rates

and circulatory diseases in the area.

After approximately 150 citizens

living in close proximity to Ilva filed a

lawsuit, the court in Strasbourg decided

that Italy had not done enough

to stop the problem, even though the

health hazards were well known (ca.

400 premature deaths and thousands

of people getting sick). According to

the verdict, public authorities had

postponed the implementation of an

environmental plan from 2014 to

2023. At the same time, they put regulations

in place which allowed the

mill to continue its operation despite

the known health risks. For the

200,000 people living in the city at the

Ionian Sea, it’s like being stuck between

a rock and a hard place. Most

people know about the consequences

of the mill’s large-scale pollution but

a permanent closure of the region’s

largest employer would result in 8,200

people losing their jobs. On top of

that, another 6,000 jobs would be at

»Several protest

rallies held over the past

few months have shown

how important the mill is for

the job market in the


region of Apulia.«

risk at the mill’s 150 suppliers. Several

protest rallies held over the past few

months have shown how important

the mill – which covers an area two

and half times as big as the city itself

- is for the job market in the economically-weak

region of Apulia.

The corporation’s downfall and

with it the downfall of the city didn’t

begin with ArcelorMittal’s takeover

of the mill. The steelworks started as

a state-owned enterprise in 1965 just

outside of Taranto. In 1995, the mill

was bought by the entrepreneurial

Riva family from Milan. Due to the

severe environmental pollution it

caused, the family lost its management

rights. An administrative receiver

was appointed to move forward

with the redevelopment works. In

the end, a triarchy of government

commissioners was supposed to modernize

the ailing steel juggernaut,

which back then still had 20,000 employees,

and to make the necessary

modifications for it to meet the requirements

of the fiercely-contested

and cyclically-fluctuating global

steel market.

ArcelorMittal’s takeover (buying

price: 1.8 billion euros) and the steel

giant’s announcement to invest 1.2

billion euros into modernizing and

another 1.15 billion euros into implementing

an environmental plan had

filled operators, employees, and the

city with the hope that this might not

be the end. By revoking ArcelorMittal’s

»legal immunity« from prosecution

for ecological crimes committed by

previous operators, the Italian government

had given the steel giant what

the press called »a welcome excuse to

opt out of the project, which within a

year had become a millstone around

its neck« (Tagesspiegel). •

01 | 2020 17


Italy and Southern Europe

New combustion system for ArcelorMittal Asturias

ArcelorMittal Asturias, Spain, has

awarded SMS group the order to supply

a new combustion system for the

existing walking beam furnaces 2N,

3N and 4N in the Aviles hot strip mill.

The supply consists of replacing the

existing burners with the SMS

EcoFlamePLUS dual fuel burners in

the zones that will be upgraded and

converted to basic oxygen furnace

(BOF) gas utilisation, instead of the

simple replacement of the gas feeding

lances. Twenty-two burners will

be replaced on each furnace. This

solution will guarantee more efficient

The modifications will help to decrease

CO 2


combustion, an optimal flame mix

resulting in a reduction of NOx emissions.

These modifications will enable

Copyright: SMS group

ArcelorMittal to drastically reduce

NOx emissions to lower than 150 mg/

Nm3 and decrease global CO 2


The new burners can be fed

either with a mix of BOF gas and natural

gas (NG) or with BOF gas only,

making the ArcelorMittal works more

sustainable and environmentally

friendly. Converting the three furnaces

to heating and pre-soaking using

100% BOF or natural gas will maximise

the BOF gas flow rate in every

operative condition. Switching between

the two gases will be performed


Cloud solution for demand

Spanish stainless steel producer Acerinox intends to plan demand by the client, product and region. The objective

is to make a profound change in the company’s supply chain processes by developing a five-year strategic

plan. This transformation aims to improve customer service and save costs by reducing inventories. Thanks to the

Oracle Demand Planning Cloud solution, Acerinox will adopt a completely different work method to plan demand.

The solution, which will add a competitive advantage when it comes to making the corresponding decisions

throughout the supply chain, aligns itself to the behaviour of the market in real-time. It incorporates statistical

algorithms that generate a precise forecast for each customer and makes it possible to plan demand by product

type, by region, by the customer and by channel. All this leads to a reduction in stocks while guaranteeing

supply. This project is part of the 360º Planning Project that Acerinox is developing together with Minsait, an

Indra Group consultancy firm, which will redefine how Acerinox manages its supply chain, allowing it to respond

to market demands in the coming years. RCL Consulting has implemented the Oracle solution. •

Corinth Pipeworks to supply pipes to Chile

Corinth Pipeworks Pipe Industry SA has

been awarded a contract by Anglo

American Sur S.A. for the manufacture

and supply of steel pipes for the Los

Bronces Pipeline Replacement project.

The contract, covering the pipe material

for the 35 km slurry pipeline in Chile,

includes the supply of 24” LSAW pipes in

heavy wall thickness up to 31.75 mm and

three Layer Polyethylene (3LPE) Coating.

The overall quantity of 13,700 Tn of steel

pipes will be manufactured at Corinth

Pipeworks’ plant in Greece in 2020. The

pipeline is located in the Andean Mountains

at an average altitude of 3,500 m

above sea level, and the pipes will require

extremely strict geometrical

tolerances to ensure uniform flow

through the entirety of the pipeline. •

The contract covers 35 km slurry pipeline.

Copyright: Corinth Pipeworks

18 01 | 2020

Italy and Southern Europe


Raccortubi Norsk appoints new Managing Director

Raccortubi Norsk, the UK branch of

Raccortubi Group, based in Aberdeen,

has appointed Andy Troup as Managing

Director. »The internal reorganisation

comes inevitably after the

steady growth of the branch since its

acquisition in 2015 and will promote a

further successful step in the history

of the company,« the company states.

Peter Ray will remain on the Board of

Directors and will be actively focused,

more than ever before, on the commercial

relationship with key customers,

frame agreements and complete

projects handling. Andy Troup has

been giving his contribution to the

Andy Troup (right) and Peter Ray

company for more than two years

now, as Business Development Manager,

building a good knowledge of

the internal offering of Raccortubi

Group and developing important

relationships with current and new

customers, while at the same time

Marcegaglia acquires Palini & Bertoli

progressively dealing with more operational

issues. »We are always fine-tuning

our internal resources to

support our continuous growth, aiming

at providing the best service to

our clients by guaranteeing continuity

to Raccortubi Norsk’s operations,«

says Luca Pentericci, President of Raccortubi

Group. »We wish to thank

both Peter and Andy for their commitment

and the new enthusiastic

challenges ahead. Please join us in

congratulating Andy Troup as he takes

on these new responsibilities.«

The reorganisation has been fully

effective since 1 January 2020. •

Marcegaglia is a global industrial group in the steel processing sector with a turnover of more than 5.3 billion

euros. Through Marcegaglia Plates, a company dedicated to heavy quarto plates rolling, the group finalised the

purchase of 100% of the capital of Palini & Bertoli from the Russian company Evraz. »Palini & Bertoli Srl is an

important company in the sector, with a production capacity of 500,000 tons per year, developed on a wide

qualitative and dimensional range,« Marcegaglia states.The new acquisition, which is part of the strategy to

strengthen its presence on the European market, will lead the Marcegaglia group to be one of the leading

players in heavy quarto plates rolling, with a total production of 1 million tons per year.

Copyright: Raccortubi

Caleotto: Feralpi to take over Duferco’s holding

The Feralpi Group will be taking over

the 50% share currently held by Duferco

Italia Holding in the Lecco company

Caleotto SpA, thereby obtaining

full control. The new arrangement is

awaiting the formal approval of the

Anti-Trust Authority. Five years after

forming the equal joint venture that

led Feralpi and Duferco to taking over

and relaunching the major rolling mill

in Lecco, situated in the centre of a

well-established drawing mill district

devoted to export, the share structure

will change. This decision is a result of

the industrial development taking

place in both groups. Feralpi has significantly

developed in the special steels

sector, i.e. the wire rod produced by

Caleotto, which is considered to be a

strategic sector for the Group. Duferco

has major investments in progress

relating to the rolling mill process for

beams and rolled products, including

a new rolling mill in Brescia, where it

has focused its resources. The operational

partnership between the two

companies will not end. The continuity

of the production plant will be ensured

despite a weak reference market,

i.e. the automotive sector first

and foremost. The Caleotto rolling

mill will be continuously replenished

with billets (the semi-finished product

that supplies the rolling mill process)

from both the Feralpi Group, through

Acciaierie di Calvisano, and the Duferco

Group to ensure consistency in industrial

operations. »For the Feralpi

Group, taking over Caleotto means

entering a market with high added

value, in line with the aim to make

the special steel business unit a pillar

of the strategic development plan,«

explains Lorenzo Angelini, Caleotto’s

Managing Director. »Not only does

Caleotto represent a rolling mill of

longstanding tradition where Feralpi

and Duferco have invested in innovative

technologies, but it also encompasses

a set of skills that make it a

competitive business on the national

and international stage,« he continues.

»We have worked closely with the

Feralpi Group in the past five years,«

commented Domenico Campanella,

Managing Director of Duferco Italia

Holding. »It is a Group we hold in very

high esteem and will continue to

work with, by supplying Caleotto with

our billets. We have come to know

the Lecco area as a district with considerable

steelmaking experience and

have engaged with customers based

locally and further afield, developing

solid partnerships due in part to extensive

plant investment.« •

01 | 2020 19

Special wire & Tube 2020

New date for wire and Tube


Trade fairs will take place from 7 to 11 December 2020

The world‘s leading international trade fairs for the wire, cable, tube and pipe industry, wire and

Tube, will take place from 7 to 11 December 2020 at Düsseldorf Fairgrounds. This is Messe

Düsseldorf‘s timely response to the postponement of the industry highlights announced at the

end of February. It was agreed in consultation with all partners involved in order to counteract t

he increasingly dynamic developments regarding the possible spread of the coronvirus.

It is very important for us to inform

you of this new date as soon as possible

in order to ensure planning

security for the entire industry and its

partners,« says Wolfram N. Diener,

Managing Director of Messe Düsseldorf

GmbH, and adds: »Our customers

and partners can trust us to act calmly

and responsibly even in difficult situations.«

Messe Düsseldorf GmbH: »Existing

contracts with Messe Düsseldorf remain

valid for the new date, visitor

Messe Düsseldorf

GmbH postpones the

trade fairs wire and

Tube Düsseldorf.

»Our customers

and partners can

trust us to act calmly

and responsibly even in

difficult situations.«

tickets already purchased remain valid

as well. 2,600 exhibitors in 15 halls

are expected to present their latest

machinery and equipment for wire

and tube production, processing and

finishing, end products, products and


Wolfram N. Diener,

Managing Director of

Messe Düsseldorf GmbH

The Düsseldorf hotel industry is also

sending out an important signal through

its umbrella organisation DEHOGA

(Trade Association for the Hospitality

Industry): »We appeal to our members

and the entire industry to be flexible

when it comes to rebooking by exhibitors

and visitors. The Düsseldorf

trade fairs such as wire and Tube play

an enormously important role for the

city, the hotel industry and the cater-

ing trade. It would be counterproductive

not to show goodwill in this situation,«

as both DEHOGA-Representatives

Giuseppe Saitta (Chairman Düsseldorf/District

Group Rhein-Kreis

Neuss) and Rolf D. Steinert (Düsseldorf/

Rhein-Kreis Neuss Hotels and Tourism

Group) emphasize. •

Copyright: Messe Düsseldorf / ctillmann

20 01 | 2020

wire & Tube 2020


Energy is increasingly becoming a key cost factor for companies.

Energy-efficient systems

for heat transfer are in demand

WTT-Expo – A trade fair for Industrial Heat Exchangers and Heat

Transfer Technology 2020 to debut in Düsseldorf

Industrial heat recovery, industrial heat exchangers, and heat transfer technology systems are

the focus of WTT-Expo, the international trade fair to be held for the first time as part of Tube

Düsseldorf at the Düsseldorf Exhibition Centre.

Energy-efficient systems for heat

transfer are in demand: energy

is increasingly becoming a key

cost factor for companies. As a result,

especially manufacturing companies

are again investing more in energy

efficiency. According to the current

»Energieeffizienz-Index (EEI)«, almost

three-quarters of all companies spend

more than 10% of their total investment

on this.

At WTT-Expo exhibitors from the

industrial heating and cooling technology

sectors will again demonstrate

how companies can produce at optimised

costs while making a sustainable

contribution to minimising emissions

at the same time.

Sustainable contribution to

minimising emissions

Reason enough for Messe Düsseldorf

to hold the three-day WTT-Expo as

an independent trade fair in Hall 7.1

as part of Tube 2020. The organisation

expects exhibitors from Germa-

Heat Recovery Steam Generators (HRSG) and pipeline at a power plant

ny and the neighbouring countries

to attend WTT-Expo. They will display

equipment, apparatus, products

and services from industrial heat

exchanger and heat transfer technologies.

this trade fair ranges from planning

and construction to the complex

area of maintenance. Admission to

WTT will be free for visitors of the

concurrently held trade fairs wire

The comprehensive line-up of and Tube.

Copyright (2): Shutterstock

01 | 2020 21

Special wire & Tube 2020


wire+Tube – a brief history

of a worldwide success

Copyright (6): Shutterstock

Eleven international satellites have now been established

throughout the world

Trade fairs for metal production, metal processing and finishing, for wire, cable and tubes, iron and

steel can look back on a long tradition in Düsseldorf.

Wire and Tube have been

held jointly in Düsseldorf

for over 30 years now. The

No. 1 trade fairs for their respective

industries, they have built a reputa-


tion for themselves as international

top players in their industries far

beyond the borders of the North Rhine-

Westphalian capital of Düsseldorf.

They have contributed to the excellent

reputation that the Düsseldorf business

hub has built as a platform for

industrial innovations around the globe.

Eleven international satellites have

now been established throughout the

world for the wire and tube sectors.

These include – alongside the »mothership«

trade fairs wire and Tube Düsseldorf

– the satellites wire China and

Tube China in Shanghai, wire and

Tube India in Mumbai, wire and Tube

Russia in Moscow, wire and Tube

Southeast Asia in Bangkok, wire South

America and Tubotech in Sao Paulo as

well as the Tube & Pipe Producers and

Suppliers Pavilion at Fabtech in Chicago.

A worldwide portfolio with

further growth potential…

Add to this the international trade

conferences of the associations Cabwire

for wire, and the ITA-Conference

for Tube, held at the congress centres

22 01 | 2020

wire & Tube 2020


on Düsseldorf exhibition premises

every two years.


Metals and Flow Technologies


The top event for the key players in the

wire related industries is organised by

the international associations IWMA

(International Wire & Machinery Association)

and IWCEA (International Wire

and Cable Exhibitors Association). ITA,

the only tube association active worldwide

(Intermational Tube Association)

holds the ITA Conference (Tube).

Since 2010 the Valve World Expo trade

fair has also been held in Düsseldorf

and has enjoyed growing success. As

the leading trade fair for industrial

fittings and valves it now boasts established

satellites in the USA and China.

As regional trade exhibitions with

conference the Valve World Expo

Americas in Houston and the Valve

World Expo Asia in Shanghai have

developed into key players for their

industries in the respective countries.

Metals and Flow Technologies

worldwide – this is the slogan describing

the international portfolio of

wire, cable and tube trade fairs, which

has been complemented by the international

world expo for industrial

valves (Valve World Expo) since 2010.

In addition to this, the industry highlights

Gifa/Metec/Thermoprocess and

Newcast are held at Düsseldorf Exhibition

Centre every four years. •

Sao Paulo



01 | 2020 23

Special wire & Tube 2020

Copyright: AUDI AG

Audi Hungaria starts series production of electric motors.

Increasingly electrified

Suppliers of the wire and cable industry see e-mobility

as an opportunity

According to the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), electric vehicles are

suitable for the market. A »young, still small market with high dynamics« has developed around

e-cars – even though vehicles with combustion engine technology currently still dominate the

global automotive market. Suppliers of the wire and cable industry are already picking up speed

and see e-mobility as an opportunity.

The market potential is enormous,«

Wafios emphasises. »Accordingly,

the forecasts are positive.«

For this reason, e-mobility already

became the focus of the company‘s

attention some years ago. »Technical

triggers were enquiries from the automotive

sector, both on the OEM side,

supplier level and in the equipment

sector about three years ago,« explains

the supplier of machines for

bending wire and tubes. E-mobility

picked up speed.

However, the industry is still »clear

and concentrated on a few market

participants,« explains Wafios. According

to AlixPartners Global Automotive

Outlook 2019, the global market

share of electric drive units in terms

of vehicles sold amounted to 2.7 per

cent in 2018. A share that is clearly

expandable, which is shown by the

growth rate of the e-drive of more

than 65 per cent. Thus, according to

Outlook 2019, the market is speed-

ing ahead »in the irreversible market


Faster than expected

According to the VDA, electric mobility

is coming faster than many expect.

One reason is, for example, the tight-

ening of regulations and the improved

incentive systems for electric mobility

to reduce CO 2

emissions. For example,

there will be no new registrations for

conventional drives in Norway from

2025—the sale of electric cars will be

promoted with massive tax incentives.

The Netherlands, Ireland and Israel

want to use only emissions-free vehicles

from 2030. A sales ban on combustion

engines is planned from 2040

in Great Britain and France. In the USA

some states, such as California, plan to

permit only emissions-free cars from

2040. To get their act together, suppliers

have to target these figures.

Drastic increase in hybrids

and electric vehicles

Globally, a drastic increase in hybrids

and electric vehicles can be expected

between 2020 and 2025. The VDA predicts

that »by 2030 a production share

of electrified vehicles of 60 per cent or

more worldwide is likely«. China will

24 01 | 2020

wire & Tube 2020


be a pioneer here – every third vehicle

could be fully electric by 2030. In Western

Europe, the share could rise to 25

per cent due to stricter regulations

and driving bans. According to the

association, a breakthrough in Africa

and South America is not to be expected

so soon. For Japan, Korea and

North America, a share of hybrid vehicles

of around 80 per cent would be

conceivable. The car world electrified

– a realistic view.

Huge investments

Car manufacturers and automotive

suppliers must, therefore, make massive

investments. The AlixPartners Global

Automotive Outlook 2010 reports

that at least 202 billion euros will have

to be spent globally over the next five

years to master the technological change

to the electric drive and the development,

production and marketing of up

to 300 planned new e-vehicles. »The

level of investment is still out of all

proportion to demand,« says Dr Elmar

Kades, Global Co-Lead Automotive

and Managing Director at AlixPartners.

At the same time, the current

and expected weak sales development

for the next few years will increase the

short-term pressure on the margins

and cash flows of the suppliers, Kades

continued. Weak sales and massive

investments therefore coincide.

Even though the situation is challenging,

the wire and cable industry

remains optimistic. »Electrically powered

vehicles promise higher sales for

our company because more or higher

quality cables are needed,« explains

Leoni. Hybrid vehicles, in particular,

which contain both an electric and a

combustion engine, require a higher

product share from the company.

High-quality cables are required in

various areas of the electric car: from

the charging cable and the charging

station to the vehicle system, and

from the charging connection to the

battery. Lines also transport the electricity

via the inverter to the electric

motor. The internal wiring supplies

other high-voltage components, such

Electric mobility is coming faster than many expect.

as air-conditioning compressors or

electrical heating, with energy. An

electrifying outlook...

Battery cabling and connector


Leoni is focusing, in particular, on the

high-voltage battery as an energy storage

device for electric vehicles and

plug-in hybrids. The company concentrates

primarily on data and power

distribution within high-voltage batteries.

»We assume that the HV battery

in future vehicles will contain

parts of the previously exposed

high-voltage cable harness due to its

large-area arrangement.« The aim is

to offer customers system solutions for

battery cabling from a single source.

A look at the powertrain of the BMW

225xe. The electric motor of the plug-in

hybrid vehicle BMW 225xe iPerformance

won the Bavarian State Prize for


Copyright: BMW Group

Together with its partner Diehl, the

company is working on offering complete

solutions. Already established

products of both companies in areas

such as cabling, connector systems and

cell contacting would be combined to

form a complete package. This means

that sustainable strategies are needed.

Products and processes are


Changing times require flexible suppliers

– the right curve position is crucial.

You must bear in mind that the

exhaust gas and fuel system, the combustion

engine and the low-voltage

vehicle electrical system are not required

for the less complex electric drive. Instead,

they must adapt to electric motors,

cooling systems for electronics

and batteries, chargers, a high-voltage

electrical system and a PTC heater;

components that sometimes require

high-performance wires and cables to

prevent vehicles from stuttering.

The changes associated with the

switch from combustion to electric

vehicle technology are therefore fundamental

and affect products and

processes. To continue on the road to

success, the wire and cable industry

must flexibly steer in the right direction.

Then it will head full speed towards

high profits. •

Copyright: Pixabay

01 | 2020 25

Industry & Technology


Making steel in the 2020s

Guest article by Edwin Basson

As we enter not just a new year but a new decade, the steel industry continues to face its traditional

challenges - overcapacity, restructuring and trade frictions to name just a few. In addition,

a number of other pressures will become increasingly significant. Edwin Basson, Director General

of global steel association worldsteel takes a look at issues that will caracterise the decade.

Our customers and society at

large are demanding greater

transparency and accountability

in all aspects of our work, especially

with respect to safety, environmental

and labour standards.

The tragedy at the Brumadinho

iron ore mine in the early part of last

year highlights the importance of this

work to the steel industry in particular.

Responding to pressure from their

own customers, the construction, automotive

and other sectors want to

know more and more about how our

products are made and where and

how we source our raw materials.

Swedish climate activist

Greta Thunberg attending

Fridays For Future (School

Strike for Climate) protest

in front of a huge crowd near

the Colosseum in Rome.

Copyright: Shutterstock

Supply chain management and

reporting will become a critical

part of our industry’s licence to


Indeed, we may see our raw material

suppliers wanting to work with us

more closely than ever before to show

their stakeholders that we are using

their products responsibly.

worldsteel’s Sustainability Reporting

Expert Group has developed a

matrix for our 30 most important material

inputs and their associated sustainability

risks depending on where

they are sourced from.

In the new year we will be widening

the scope of our work on steel

scrap, something that will become

increasingly important this decade as

the availability of scrap increases and

we see a higher percentage of global

crude steel produced by recycling

scrap in electric arc furnaces.

The activism of Greta Thunberg,

Extinction Rebellion and others

has heightened public awareness

of climate change.

Having worked with worldsteel for

some time now, the International

Energy Agency (IEA) will this year publish

its technology roadmap for the

steel industry, which will set out a strategy

for decoupling increases in steel

production from related CO 2


We as an energy intensive sector with

hard-to-abate CO 2

emissions will have

to clearly explain why decarbonising

the global economy will be a steel-intensive


It will partly depend on our 100%

and infinitely recyclable material. We

will also have to communicate the capital-intensive

and technically demanding

work our members are doing in

developing breakthrough technologies

that will see virgin steel produced with

net zero carbon. This includes technologies

that reduce iron ore with renew-

ably-produced hydrogen and which

thus reduce the need for coking coal.

Although such technologies will

likely not be commercially viable in

the next decade, worldsteel, through

its step up programme, will in the

meantime work with its members to

drive short and medium-term process

efficiency gains in raw material quality,

energy efficiency, process yield

and process reliability, all of which

will reduce the industry’s impact on

the climate. Our industry is already

making headway in responding to

these new pressures, but there remains

much to do. Fortunately, both

the steel industry and steel as a product

already play an important role in

driving the sustainability that society


26 01 | 2020


Industry & Technology

Nucor selects Danieli and SMS

group for greenfield plate mill

Kentucky: Nucor Corporation is investing in a new mill

Nucor Corporation is investing in a new greenfield USD 1.35 billion plate mill in Brandenburg,

Kentucky. The company says that the mill will have a capacity for 1.2 million short tons per year.

It is expected to come online in 2022.

This strategic investment will enable

us to build a clear market

leadership position in the US

plate market,« says Nucor CEO John

Ferriola. »Kentucky is an excellent

location for this mill, right in the centre

of America‘s largest plate-consuming

region. Our acquisition of the

Gallatin sheet mill in Ghent, Kentucky,

five years ago has been a tremendous

success, and we are pleased to add a

second mill in the state.« Nucor currently

operates plate mills in North

Carolina, Alabama and Texas.

Nucor estimates that the new mill

will give the company the ability to

satisfy 97% of the US’ plate requirements

by product »... including the

specialty higher-margin products.«

The mill’s capabilities will range from

60-160 inches in width, with thick-

nesses of 3/16-14 inches.

Casting of steel in special sizes

Danieli will supply the new electric arc

furnace (EAF) melt shop and plate-/

Steckel-mill, as well as an electrical

and automation package provided by

Danieli Automation. The value of

Danieli supply is approx. USD 330 million.

The EAF will be a full platform

design with an EBT tapping system,

equipped with all modern mechatronic

devices to improve the performance

and the safety of the EAF, such as

Q-Melt and Zero Man Turn Around.

Danieli will also supply secondary

metallurgy equipment, including a

twin station LMF and a twin station

From left: Keith Watson,

SMS group Inc. Vice President;

Burkhard Dahmen, SMS group GmbH

President & CEO; John Ferriola, Nucor

Chairman and CEO; Leon Topalian,

Nucor President & COO

VTD equipped with mechanical

pumps. Both units will be equipped

with the latest automation and process

models to ensure precise chemistry

and temperature control while

minimising transformation costs.

The plate-/Steckel-mill will be

equipped with two stands: a roughing

mill and a Steckel-mill, where the

roughing mill will also be designed

for the rolling of 36" ingots. The complete

design of the plate mill will be

optimised to produce thermo-mechanical

rolled plates, production of

API-grades, as well as high hardness,

wear-resistant plates up to a rolled

width of 160" and coils up to a rolled

width of 125". After the Plate-/

Steckel-Mill mill, the latest EVO 5 hot

leveller designed for two different

types of cassettes and a plate finishing

and shearing line for the handling

and cutting of 250 ft mother plates

will follow. The final product will be

plates and heavy plates in a thickness

From left: Giacomo Mareschi Danieli,

Danieli CEO; Gianpietro Benedetti,

Danieli Chairman; John Ferriola,

Nucor Chairman and CEO; Leon Topalian,

Nucor President and COO, Paolo

Losso, Danieli Corporation President


About Nucor Corporation

Nucor Corporation is America’s

largest steel and steel

products maker, with approximately

27,000 employees at

25 steel mills and more than

300 operating facilities throughout

North America.

Last year, Nucor produced

more than 24.7 million tonnes

of steel and more than USD

25 billion in revenue. Nucor is

also North America’s largest

recycler, using scrap steel as

the primary raw material in

producing its steel and steel

products. In 2018, the company

recycled approximately

22.2 million net tonnes of

scrap steel.

01 | 2020 27

Industry & Technology


range of 3/16“ up to 14“ and coils

from 3/16“ up to 1“.

SMS group will supply a singlestrand

caster for ultra-wide and thick

slabs. Accroding to the company, it will

be designed for an annual capacity of

1.6 million short tons, and will be a

core element of the production chain

of the new facility in Brandenburg. The

casting machine will be one of the

largest casters worldwide, SMS group

states. It will produce slabs of 8 to 12

inch (200 to 305 millimeter) thickness

up to 124 inch (3,150 millimeter) width.

Slab lengths vary from 104 to 600 inch

(2,642 to 15,240 millimeter).

Technological features include include

robotic applications on the

casting platform and an HD mold

with fiber optics and electromagnetic

stirring. In addition, a customized

roller apron, a quenching unit

and a secondary cutting line will also

be incorporated. An integration test

with virtual 3D production and active

participation by Nucor personnel

will take place in the SMS test field.

To meet Nucor’s challenging project

objectives, several special technological

features will be incorporated

into the new vertical bending caster,

SMS emphasises. These include robotic

applications on the casting

platform and an HD mold with fiber

optics and electromagnetic stirring.

In addition, a customized roller

apron, a quenching unit and a sec-

ondary cutting line will also be incorporated.

Responsible Steel across Europe

ArcelorMittal aims to produce steel in a climate-neutral manner

In November, the company announced plans to roll out a new sustainability programme across

Europe, aiming to secure ResponsibleSteel site certification for all its ArcelorMittal Europe –

Flat Products sites. The 12-month programme will enable each site to prove that its production

processes meet rigorously defined standards across a broad range of social, environmental and

governance criteria.


DRI through


ResponsibleSteel is the industry’s

first global multi-stakeholder standard

and certification initiative,

dedicated to defining and promoting

responsible practice, aimed at improving:

• Climate change and greenhouse

gas emissions

• Water stewardship and biodiversity

• Human rights & labour rights

• Community relations and business


The standard is based on 12 principles

with a variety of criteria and underlying

requirements. To become ResponsibleSteel

certified, each site will

undergo a rigorous third-party audit

with an independent Certification

Committee, making the final certification

decision. »Given the strong investments

we have already made towards

low carbon and environmental standards

across our sites, I’m confident

that we should secure certification in

each of our Flat Products sites within

the timeframe,« says Geert Van Poelvoorde,

CEO ArcelorMittal Europe –

Flat Products. The first wave of auditing

includes sites in Belgium, Germany,

Spain and France with others to

follow. After the initial phase, further

ArcelorMittal sites around the world

will be part of the programme. In

2020, ResponsibleSteel will launch a

standard for the certification of steel

products, which will include stringent

Copyright: ArcelorMittal

requirements for raw materials supply

chain. ArcelorMittal will continue to

play an active role in developing this

aspect of the programme.

12 principles

At the Blechexpo fair, Jochen Grünewald

of ArcelorMittal Commercial Germany

GmbH gave a comprehensive

overview of the company’s ambitions

for greener steel production in Europe.

He identified three ways to green steel:

• Clean electricity as the source of

energy for steel production using

hydrogen produced using electrolysis

• Carbon in the circular economy

Recycling of biodegradable and plastic

ways from households and industrial


• Using fossil fuels with capture and

storage of carbon (CCS) to pave the

way for a low-emission steel production

In addition to energy efficiency, the

company promotes more use of scrap

28 01 | 2020


Industry & Technology

in the region where it is active. In Europe,

it is currently investing EUR 250

million in technologies for the reduction

of emissions. Also, it pledges political

commitment so that policymakers

»understand and promote the transition

to a future of low emission.«

Lighthouse project in Hamburg:

DRI through hydrogen

At ArcelorMittal Hamburg, Germany’s

only mill with direct-reduced-iron

(DRI) technology, the group targets

the use of alternative feedstocks and

the conversion of CO 2

emissions involving

hydrogen. The new hydrogen-

based process aims to be able to produce

steel with the lowest CO 2


sions. The project costs amount to

around EUR 65 million (USD 73 mil-

lion). The hydrogen-based reduction

of iron ore will initially take place on

a demonstration-scale with an annual

production of 100,000 tonnes. The

process is first tested with grey hydrogen

(generate d at gas separation) to

allow for economical operation. In the

ArcelorMittal claims that the existing Midrex plant in Hamburg is the one with the

lowest CO 2

emission in quality steel production in Europe. It converts 980,000

tonnes of iron ore pellets into sponge iron, which consists of 95% pure iron.

future, the plant should also be able using hydrogen as a reduction agent

to run on green hydrogen (generated is that we go for industrial production

from renewable sources) when it is right away,« the CEO for Germany,

available in enough quantities. »The Frank Schulz said at the announcement

difference to earlier similar projects

of the project in spring. •

Italian steel production declines

According to the latest figures published by the Federacciai

Association, the 2019 Italian crude steel production

was 5.2 per cent down on the previous year. This

means that the decline was higher than forecast in

October, caused by a very weak fourth quarter. In

2019, crude steel production in Italy amounted to

23.2 million tonnes. This represents a decline of 5.2

percent compared to 2018. Production of long products

fell by only 0.8 percent to 12.3 million tonnes. In contrast,

flat products declined by 4.8 percent to 10.6 million

tons. December saw a 35 per cent decline in flat products.

The decline in long products was 5.8 per cent in

the last month of 2019. Total crude steel production

was down 17.3 per cent. In 2016, 2017 and 2018, the

corresponding production figures were still rising. Only

flat products showed slight declines in 2017 and 2018.

Some steel producers took advantage of the weaker

economy at the end of the year for maintenance work,

which led to production stoppages. The uncertainty

surrounding the Ilva plant also had a negative impact

Maintenance work at Arvedi has contributed to the decline

in the manufacture of flat products.

on production figures. A decision on how to proceed

with the ArcelorMittal plant will be taken in spring

(see also page 16). Market observers expect the situation

to ease slightly in the first few months of this year,

as the retail sector wants to replenish its stocks. •

Copyright: Arvedi

01 | 2020 29

Industry & Technology


World’s largest pilot plant for the

CO 2

neutral production of hydrogen

H2FUTURE: voestalpine‘s »green« hydrogen pilot facility commences


The world’s largest pilot plant for the CO 2

neutral production of hydrogen has successfully

commenced operation at the voestalpine‘s site in Linz. It is simultaneously setting an international

mark in the advancement of new energy supply options.

As part of the EU-funded

H2FUTURE project, main partners

voestalpine, energy utility

VERBUND and Siemens are researching

the industrial production of

green hydrogen as a means of replacing

fossil fuels in steel production

over the long term.

The new plant has a capacity of

over 6 megawatts, and is currently

regarded as the most effective and

state-of-the-art facility of its type. It

will be used to test whether the technology

deployed to produce green

hydrogen is suitable for use on an

industrial scale. Furthermore, the project,

which receives EUR 18 million

(USD 20 million) in EU funding, will

investigate the potential to provide

network services, and potentially

compensate for fluctuations in the

power grid.

The high-tech heart of the plant, the Siemens Silyzer 300, has a capacity of six

megawatts, and can generate 1,200 cubic meters of green hydrogen.

Copyright: voestalpine

Siemens regards hydrogen

essential for a climate-neutral


voestalpine is currently investigating

the practicality of a hybrid technology

to bridge between the existing coke/

coal-based blast furnace route and

electric arc furnaces powered with

green electricity partly generated

using green hydrogen. »The most important

precondition for scenario

planning based on green electricity

and green hydrogen is, however, sufficient

quantities of renewable energy

available at commercially realistic

prices. This is the only way in which we

can apply tomorrow’s technologies in

a truly competitive manner,« voestalpine

CEO Herbert Eibensteiner says.

»Siemens has a history of focusing

on clean energy, including its generation,

distribution and application. This

plant uses renewable energy to split

water into its constituent parts – hydrogen

and oxygen. The process creates

a huge potential to decarbonize

the energy and economic system and

make it more flexible,« says Wolfgang

Hesoun, CEO of Siemens Austria.

Electrolysis can also be used to support

the power grid, by extracting

excess power from the grid as required.

This is an important factor in light of

the increasing fluctuations in power

generated by renewables. Furthermore,

responsive electrolysers can be

used to provision power grids, offering

services for increasingly overloaded

transmission networks. »H2FU-

TURE is a prime example of cross-sector

cooperation generating added

value«, says Wolfgang Anzengruber,

CEO of Austrian utility VERBUND.

»The use of green hydrogen is both a

win-win situation for power generation

and industry, and a perfect example

of sector coupling through


30 01 | 2020


Industry & Technology

SSAB‘s Raahe mill in Finland

will be the group‘s pilot works.

Copyright: SSAB

SSAB initiates study in Finland

The next step for a completely fossil-free steel value chain

SSAB has announced that it is launching a study in Finland for fossil-free steelmaking. In line with

the HYBRIT project, SSAB is taking the next step for a completely fossil-free steel value chain.

In partnership with Gasum, Neste

and St1, SSAB is initiating an Energy4HYBRIT

pre-feasibility study supported

by Business Finland to investigate

the use of fossil-free energy sources,

primarily biomaterial side-streams,

to replace fossil fuels in certain steelmaking

processes, for example rolling

processes. The Raahe mill will act as

SSAB’s pilot.

The HYBRIT initiative, owned by

SSAB, LKAB and Vattenfall, aims to

replace the coke used in iron ore-based

steelmaking with hydrogen. Ironmaking

accounts for around 90% of

SSAB’s carbon dioxide emissions. The

new process would emit water instead

of carbon dioxide. Laboratory tests

and a pre-feasibility study have shown

that the process works and the pilot

plant being built in Luleå, Sweden will

be completed in 2020. The aim of the

initiative is an ambitious one and will

potentially reduce Sweden’s carbon

dioxide emissions by 10% and Finland’s

by 7%.

Hydrogen instead of coke

»The Finnish effort is an important

step in our ambition to become fossil-free

in all our operations. Together

with our partners, we will introduce

a completely fossil-free value chain

from the mine to the finished steel

products. We are aiming to be the

first in the world with fossil-free

steels to the market in 2026«, says

Martin Lindqvist, CEO and president

at SSAB.

»The joint Energy4HYBRIT project

focusses on the remaining 10% of carbon

dioxide emissions originating

from numerous other steelmaking

processes, excluding than ironmaking.

One of the main aims in the pre-feasibility

study will be to explore the

possibility to use fuels other than fossil

fuels in these processes. Regarding

biofuels, the project will study the

possibilities of collecting, transporting

and utilizing felling and other biowaste

and sidestream products from

the Baltic Sea region,« says Harri

Leppänen, Environment and Safety

Director at SSAB.

The University of Oulu and VTT

will study and model all the energy

flows at the works. The energy companies

involved in the pre-feasibility

study are looking into the use and

availability of alternative energy

sources. The study will be finished in

May 2020.

01 | 2020 31

Industry & Technology


The post-fossil age will still require energy.Wind turbines

Copyright: Shutterstock

Phase-out of mineral oil /

phase-in of metals?

In Potsdam experts discussed how to synchronise the two phases

A farewell is, at the same time, a new beginning. The phase-out of fossil fuels is long overdue in

terms of climate policy. The active phase-out of fossil oil also requires a start, an active phase-in of

even more metals. A one-day symposium was set up by the Institute of Advanced Sustainability

Studies (IASS) in Potsdam to discuss how to synchronise the two phases.

The post-fossil age will still require

energy, and electrical energy

will be of primary importance in

the future. We need more metals for

the energy revolution, whether it be

classic base metals such as copper or

rare earth metals such as neodymium

for the magnets of modern wind turbines,

according to the IASS. The turnaround

in mobility also requires increasing

electrification of motorised

road traffic, whether directly electric

or with hydrogen/fuel cells. In contrast

to fossil oil, we cannot abandon the

use of metals, the institute states.

The central challenge of the Paris

Climate Agreement is to achieve greenhouse

gas neutrality, but the challenges

associated with this are often ignored in

the public debate, said speakers at the

conference, which was organised by

IASS together with the Federation of

German Scientists (VDW). An active

phasing-out of oil production needs an

all-encompassing framework. At the

same time, the timeframe both for this

and for the inevitably increasing demand

for metals would have to be given

much more attention. The strategic

importance of copper, for example, is


Resource extraction: What

side effects can we live with?

Although fracking has increased the

global supply of oil, the actual shortage

is not so obvious for a limited

period. However, in the next decade

at the latest, there will be a shortage

of oil. The unsustainable use of fossil

sources will inevitably come to an

end, the conference stated, but also

rose awareness that metals, too, must

be produced sensibly.

According to Melanie Müller of the

German Institute for International and

Security Affairs, to prevent this, the

topic of mining must be »thought in

a more transnational way« and »The

mining of rare earth and metals must

be monitored.« Ombud offices for mining

activities would be a good idea.

Peter Buchholz, head of the German

Raw Materials Agency (DERA), recommends

the establishment of cooperatives

with licences that have to be

bought to prevent human rights violations

in mining. These could only be

obtained by complying with certain

minimum standards, such as the exclusion

of child labour or demonstrable

compliance with environmental protection

measures. •

32 01 | 2020

Trade & Service

thyssenkrupp invests in customer

shopping experience

Materials Services, the thyssenkrupp

Group‘s materials distribution

and service provider, is continuing

to invest in its e-commerce activities.

The company has purchased

the data model for materials and

anonymised product data from Mapudo

GmbH, a former online marketplace

for steel products. By

doing so, thyssenkrupp Materials

Services aims to optimise product

data quality and offer customers an

even better shopping experience

on the company‘s online platforms.

Industry-specific challenges

»Relevant and accurate product

data is an important decision-making

aid for our customers and an

indispensable prerequisite for the

further digitalisation of the industry,«

says Volker Hewing, as Head of

IT Foundation responsible for master

data management at thyssenkrupp

Materials Services.

The acquired data contains product

descriptions such as quality characteristics

and specifics, which allow the materials

to be better identified and

mapped in the online shops and portals

of thyssenkrupp Materials Services.

Customers benefit, for example,

Materials Services is working on relevant and accurate product data.

from an optimised search and selection

of individual products. thyssenkrupp

Materials Services has begun

improving data quality as part of its

digital transformation and will continue

to drive this forward together

with digital processes in the industry.

»Mapudo has laid an important foundation

in recent years,« says Hewing.

»There are no standards for metallic

materials, such as EAN codes,

which are not specific to any particular

trader or producer. Accordingly,

materials must be identified

by their properties. At Mapudo, we

have created a multi-layered product

typology that enables efficient

and consistent comparison of

materials and at the same time enrichment

of product data,« says

Niklas Friederichsen, co-founder

and, together with Christian

Sprinkmeyer, managing director of

Mapudo GmbH.

Copyright: thyssenkrupp

Salzgitter expands trading network

Salzgitter Mannesmann Staalhandel B.V. takes over

Statendam Steel Plates B.V., both in Oosterhout,

the Netherlands. Salzgitter Mannesmann Staalhandel

B.V., a Salzgitter AG group company, has taken

over heavy plate specialist trading company Statendam

Steel Plates B.V. effective December 31,

2019. Both companies operate out of Oosterhout,

the Netherlands. Statendam Steel Plates B.V. was

founded in 2000 and was formerly 100% privately

owned. It supplies construction, trading, boiler

manufacturing, mechanical engineering, metalworking,

offshore and shipbuilding companies in

the Netherlands. The acquisition enables Salzgitter

Mannesmann Staalhandel B.V. to extend its product

portfolio and strengthen its market presence

in the Netherlands. The company is part of the international

trading organisation of Düsseldorfbased

Salzgitter Mannesmann Handel GmbH that

heads up the Trading Business Unit within the

Salzgitter Group.

01 | 2020 33

Trade & Service

»Room for improvement«

Interview with Marek Sacha, CEO of XOM Materials

Three years ago, XOM Materials started changing the steel market with digital tools. How far

has the digitisation of the industry progressed since then, and what are the company‘s latest plans

and goals? Marek Sacha, CEO of XOM Materials GmbH, explains why 2020 could be the most

important year in the history of the company.

After two years of XOM Materials,

what is your conclusion regarding

the digitisation of the steel trade?

Marek Sacha: It is still relatively difficult

for the steel industry to go digital. At

the same time, the pressure to tackle

digitisation is increasing. After all, the

European steel market has the greatest

challenges. This will remain the same

in 2020. For many suppliers, the price

war is at the expense of profitability,

so they must do something and digitisation

is an important advantage.

How digital is the German steel

industry compared to its European


Sacha: When you see that most European

market leaders have only just

started digitising their sales processes,

you realise there is huge room for improvement.

Germany is well on its way

towards digitisation and probably a bit

ahead in comparison to most European

countries. Industry 4.0 is a trending

topic in Germany with several public

and private initiatives starting in many

sectors. It could help the German steel

industry outmatch its European counterparts

in the next years.

In your experience, who is furthest


Sacha: As far as I know, Austria has

one of the highest rates of digitally

processed orders in the steel sector.

Smaller countries like Finland and

Switzerland are catching up very

quickly. Eastern Europe is rather open

Marek Sacha: »Most European market leaders have only just started digitising their

sales processes.«

towards digitisation but lacks the means

to force the change. Southern Europe

is still in the early stages. This

evaluation is based on our own experience

in the different countries. There

aren’t enough studies to draw a proper

benchmark yet.

What are the reasons for these differences?

Sacha: In my experience, people in

smaller European countries are generally

more open to digitisation. Austrian

companies, in particular, seem

to have realised that eCommerce can

also be a perfect additional service.

In Germany, grave concerns about

data protection still exist while other

countries are generally more relaxed

about this. At some point, even the

slowest countries will have to catch

up as there is no way around digitisation.

Do you think providers have recognised


Sacha: When I started at XOM Materials

in 2018, only early movers wanted

to talk seriously about digitisation.

Today, everyone meets us with great

openness. Most of the vendors we

deal with now put digitisation at the

top of their corporate strategy. In

terms of production, they are already

a little further along with Industry 4.0.

And now the industry 4.0 wave is

spilling over into the sales area?

Sacha: Yes, I think so. At Amazon, the

B2B sector is showing strong growth,

which is certainly an important indicator.

XOM is automating the sales area.

With our tools, we can avoid inefficiencies

and manual errors. As a result,

products can also become cheaper

Copyright: XOM Materials

34 01 | 2020

Trade & Service

Copyright: Pixabay

The way from steel production to digital trade solutions has become shorter.

because the sales costs decrease. After

all, eCommerce eliminates many manual

steps. Digital data collected via

B2B online trading can, in turn, make

production more efficient because

suppliers can produce more in line

with demand. On the other hand,

consumers can shop smarter.

XOM Materials is currently transforming

from a pure platform provider

to a solution provider. How

did this happen?

Sacha: We realised that our digital

trading platform, the XOM Marketplace,

does not cover all aspects of materials

trading. Therefore, we now focus on

two additional aspects besides the

Marketplace. One is a white-label

eCommerce platform, i.e. complex

eShop, as a separate digital sales channel

for materials suppliers in their design.

The second is an e-procurement

solution that simplifies the purchasing

process by bringing together all the

necessary data. In both small and large

companies, a lot of purchasing still

runs on endless Excel spreadsheets

with offers that are compared with

each other. An eProcurement tool can

prepare this data much better. For larger

organisations that require a wide

range of materials at different locations,

it can also help to improve the

overview significantly.

So, the eProcurement solution

could save a lot of time as well?

Sacha: Yes, and it enables you to buy

much better because offers can be

compared a lot quicker compared to

having Excel spreadsheets in front of

you, which you have to decode first

because the product names may differ.

What advantages do steel and

other materials distributors have

when they rely on XOM‘s eCommerce


Sacha: We can get dealers online

quickly, and we can provide them with

competent and industry-specific advice.

For example, how do I best present

products, what does the sales

team need to know, how do I involve

customers, how do I design a digital

price strategy? These are all things we

have learned ourselves in the last two

years. We can now pass on this experience

to sellers who are entering the

world of e-commerce. We can make

the development of an eShop much

more efficient, and some dealers have

already taken advantage of this offer.

What convinced sellers who already

run an XOM online store?

Sacha: Well, having a steel-specific

eShop is not the same as having a standard

shop that sells any kind of products.

In our industry, there are a lot of

specific requirements like material certificates,

cut-to-length, consideration of

setup costs, personalised prices and the

ability for buyers to define their own

item numbers, etc. The sales process in

the B2B sector is simply different from

the B2C market. There is a whole range

of additional industry-specific features.

To develop all of this yourself would be

very expensive, and you also need a

large IT team to adapt a standard online

store to the materials industry. We‘ve

already done the work, and steel and

other materials traders can benefit from

it. So, all in all, we offer an online store

solution that can be implemented more

quickly and is cheaper.

What are your goals for 2020?

Sacha: That is easy to answer. We want

to attract more customers to our eProcurement

and eShop solutions and

generate more sales through our Marketplace.

We want to show even more

steel, metal and plastics retailers how

they can sell their products efficiently

and digitally. Our solutions are also

mutually beneficial because all the

experience we gain with our online

stores and eProcurement solution

flows back into our Marketplace.

Now XOM Materials enters its third

year, is there still some start-up feeling


Sacha: Yes, you can still sense it in the

team. We develop everything in-house,

and since our tools are in use and bring

real added value to our customers, our

employees are more motivated than

ever, because it‘s all thanks to them.

They can see that they have achieved

something great and something meaningful,

which is moving an entire industry

forward. I am also proud of

what we have achieved together. I

want to continue like this. 2020 could

be the most important year in the history

of XOM Materials.

01 | 2020 35

Trade & Service

The scale of the combined companies

will enable further development of optimised

and specialised stocks.

Copyright: Van Leeuwen Pipe and Tube Group

Acquisition completed

The Van Leeuwen Pipe and Tube Group has purchased

Benteler Distribution

The Van Leeuwen Pipe and Tube Group has completed the acquisition of Benteler Distribution

(BD), a division of Benteler International AG. All necessary approvals from relevant regulatory

authorities have been received for the closing of the transaction. »This acquisition is a historic step

in Van Leeuwen’s 95-year history and underlines our ambition to remain a leading company in

our industry. Both having the ambition to become the number one in our markets worldwide is

what makes Van Leeuwen and Benteler Distribution such a perfect combination. Combining the

companies means the coming together of strong expertise and experience built over many years«,

Peter Rietberg, Chairman of the Management Board of Van Leeuwen, said to Steel Market

European Edition.

The coming year will be all about

integrating Benteler into the

Van Leeuwen network. The

combined network of locations,

warehouses and logistics forms an unrivalled

distribution network with a

strong emphasis on customer focus

and added value. As a result, we are

even closer to our customers and can

serve them even better«, Joop Sassen,

Member of the Management Board

and CEO of Van Leeuwen, added. Van

Leeuwen‘s strategy is to expand and

improve its market position in various

market segments and countries through

acquisitions and autonomous growth.

The addition of Benteler Distribution

to the Van Leeuwen Pipe and Tube

Group will provide Van Leeuwen with

an extensive distribution network in

Europe, creating opportunities to expand

Van Leeuwen’s range of products,

value-added services and treatments

for its customers. The scale of

the combined companies will enable

further development of innovative

solutions for customers, optimised

and specialised stocks with proximity

to the customers, and investments in

IT-supported customer interfaces and

effective distribution.

»More than tubes«

Peter Rietberg, Chairman of the Management

Board of Van Leeuwen, said

on the matter that »adding Benteler

Distribution to the Van Leeuwen network

is a perfect example of realising

»more than tubes«. We are looking

36 01 | 2020

Trade & Service

forward to welcoming our new colleagues

to the Van Leeuwen family.

Their expertise, market knowledge

and dedication are of great value to

us. Together we can further invest in

the development of systems, solutions

and infrastructure that will offer our

customers an even broader range of

pipe and tube products and value-added


The Van Leeuwen Pipe and Tube

Group is an international distribution

company specialised in steel pipes, and

pipe and tube applications. The family-owned

company, with its head

office in Zwijndrecht, the Netherlands,

was founded in 1924 and is active in

virtually all industrial sectors. The

Group, including the recently acquired

company Benteler Distribution, has close

to a hundred branches spread throughout

Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Australia

and North America. Van Leeuwen’s

2,700 employees (including Benteler

Distribution) have specialist

knowledge of sourcing, processing,

project management, logistics and

stock planning, and work closely together

with customers in its markets.

Benteler Distribution (BD) is an international

distribution company offering

a full range of carbon and stainless

steel tubes and customised services,

operating in the mechanical engineering,

automotive, energy, construction

and ship-building industries. The company

has 1,600 employees in 59 locations,

including storage facilities, across

24 countries. The addition of BD will

significantly expand Van Leeuwen’s

global presence, specifically in Germany,

Switzerland, Scandinavia and Central


Focus on automotive

Ralf Göttel, CEO of the Benteler

Group, stated that »It is part of our

culture to consistently enhance our

performance and improve our portfolio

and business processes. This en-

ables us to develop and produce tailored

solutions for our customers and to

be successful in an intensely competitive

environment. The Van Leeuwen

Pipe and Tube Group is an ideal partner

for this transaction and perfectly

equipped to take over Benteler Distribution’s


The divestment of the Benteler Distribution

Division took place against

the background of the company‘s increased

focus on the automotive business.

Benteler products can be found

in almost every car worldwide. The

Benteler portfolio ranges from tubes

for airbags and axles, for example, as

well as components and modules for

chassis, body-in-white and engine and

exhaust applications, to future modular

technologies, such as electromobility

system solutions.

»Especially today, it is important to

us to thank our colleagues in the Distribution

division who have committed

themselves and have successfully worked

towards developing Benteler, making

us what we are today: a family-run

global company which, together with

our partners, develops and produces

tailored solutions for our customers,«

concluded Ralf Göttel. •

The integration of

Benteler Distribution

has already started.

01 | 2020 37


Stefan Widing is new CEO of Sandvik

Photo: Sandvik

Stefan Widing

Stefan Widing assumed the position of president and CEO for Sweden’s Sandvik on 1 February

2020. Widing succeeded Björn Rosengren, who will leave Sandvik to lead ABB (see

the previous issue). Since 2015, Widing has been the Executive Vice President of Assa Abloy

and President of HID Global Corporation, a technology division within Assa Abloy. He

holds an MSc in Applied Physics and Electrical Engineering as well as a BA in Business Administration.

Sandvik’s board of directors notes that Widing’s competence in advanced

technologies and experience from leading digital transformations will be an asset to the

company. •

Eva Vitell appointed new managing director of Hybrit

Photo: Hybrit

Eva Vitell

Hybrit has appointed Eva Vitell as its

new managing director. She took up

her new role in the joint venture,

which is owned by SSAB, LKAB and

Vattenfall, earlier this month. According

to her statement, she is looking

forward »to working with highly

qualified and motivated colleagues

on the revolution in the steel indus-

try and contributing to the transition

of an industry that can do without

fossil fuels«. Vitell is currently

head of Customer and Market at

Vattenfall Distribution. Previously,

she headed Vattenfall‘s Swedish

wind energy development and the

Environment division of the group‘s

Nordic operations. •

Carsten Trentau is the new Head of Sales OEM at Kemper

As the new Head of Sales, Carsten Trentau has recently assumed responsibility for the OEM (Original

Equipment Manufacturer) division of the extraction technology specialist Kemper. In addition to the expansion

of the project business, Trentau is focusing on the announcement of the new Kemper Automation

product line, according to a press release. Before his employment at the company from Münsterland,

the 55-year-old worked at Kjellberg in Finsterwalde. There he was already working with plasma technology

in the OEM field.

Steeltec: Dr Florian Geiger appointed new CEO

Photo: Steeltec

Dr Florian Geiger

At the beginning of the year, Dr Florian Geiger joined the bright steel producer Steeltec as

the new CEO. With this appointment, the business economist takes over from Gerd

Münch, who is leaving the Schmolz + Bickenbach Group. Until 2013, Geiger worked as a

management consultant in the field of efficiency enhancement at international companies.

He finally moved to the Schmolz + Bickenbach Group, where he was already responsible

for strategic projects and mergers and acquisitions as Vice President Business Development.

38 01 | 2020


Martin Stillger succeeds CEO Klaus Keysberg

as Spokesman of the Management Board

Photo: thyssenkrupp Material Services

Martin Stillger

Martin Stillger (56) succeeds CEO Dr

Klaus Keysberg as Spokesman of the

Executive Board of thyssenkrupp

Materials Services. Keysberg joined the

Group executive board of thyssenkrupp

AG in October last year and has assumed

overall responsibility for the

businesses of Steel Europe and Materials

Services. Stillger has held various management

positions at thyssenkrupp Materials

Services since 2008 – most

recently as CEO of thyssenkrupp Schulte

and the Western Europe and Technical

Services business units. Before joining

thyssenkrupp, the mechanical engineering

worked for Barmag AG for 17 years,

five of which were spent as Chief Sales

Officer and Chief Executive Officer.

Detlef Schotten, currently CEO of the

Eastern Europe and Asia-Pacific business

unit, succeeded him as CEO of

thyssenkrupp Schulte and the Western

Europe business unit at the beginning

of the year.

rff appoints co-managing director

The company rff Rohr Flansch Fitting has hired Jörg Delveaux as a co-managing

director. Besides Hartmut Böttche and Michael Allexi, he will oversee rff‘s activities

and will initially be responsible for the purchasing and materials management

divisions. According to the company, he will also be assigned the management

of the warehouse and logistics division from 2021. Delveaux comes from a

direct market environment and has in-depth market, product and management


Jörg Delveaux

Photo: rff/Thomas Schütze

Changes in thyssenkrupp’s Supervisory Board

Photo: IG Metall

Jürgen Kerner

Jürgen Kerner is to become Vice Chairman

of the Supervisory Board of thyssenkrupp

AG. He will succeed Markus

Grolms, who has already resigned from

the Supervisory Board. Kerner has been

an executive member of the thyssenkrupp

AG Executive Board since October

2011 and Chief Treasurer of the German

union IG Metall since November 2013.

The trained information electronics

technician is responsible for the union‘s

finance, controlling, internal services

and IT functions. He is also responsible

for the coordination of sector policy.

This includes the steel industry and the

IG Metall team responsible for Siemens.

As a member of the supervisory board,

Kerner has already accompanied the

restructuring of various large German


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01 | 2020 39


Karl Haider new CCO of Tata Steel in Europe

Karl Haider

In November, Karl Haider took up the role of Chief Commercial Officer

for Tata Steel in Europe, replacing Henrik Adam, who became CEO of Tata

Steel in Europe in June this year. Karl Haider joined Tata Steel in Europe

as director of downstream operations in 2011. He began his career in the

steel industry as an apprentice at voestalpine in 1981. He went on to study

technical chemistry and business economics and holds a PhD in Natural

Science. From 1997, he filled several commercial roles at Dutch chemical

company DSM from 2001 until 2006. He then returned to voestalpine,

first as a project manager and then as a member of the executive board

of the High-Performance Metals division of voestalpine AG. •

Dmitry Sotnikov appointed NLMK Group vice president

for Investment Projects

NLMK Group has announced the appointment of

Dmitry Sotnikov as NLMK Group Vice President for

Investment Projects. Before joining NLMK Group,

Dmitry Sotnikov headed a development company

that executed the construction of a business park

in Moscow, a residential complex in Yekaterinburg

and a business centre in Perm, among other largescale

projects. Before 2011 and for almost a decade,

Dmitry held various investment and operational

management positions at Evraz. He created a project

management system at Evraz and was directly

involved in the execution of the Company’s largest

steelmaking and mining projects. Konstantin Lagutin,

NLMK Group’s previous VP for Investment Projects,

has decided to step down from the position.

He will stay on with the company until the end of

the year as an advisor to NLMK Group President

and CEO. He led the implementation and development

of the project management system, and the

execution of several NLMK strategic projects, including

the construction of Stoilensky pelletising


German Iron and Steel Institute: Lüngen new

executive member of the managing board

At Germany’s Steel Institute VDEh,

Dr Hans Bodo Lüngen has assumed

the position of executive member of

the managing board. Lüngen for

many years has been heading the

technical affairs at the techno-scientific

organisation of the German

steel industry that is headquartered

in Düsseldorf. He joined the institute

in 1985. After studying metallurgy

and writing a PhD thesis on sintering

processes, he has held various leading

positions at the institute over

the years. Among other things, he

has co-organised the European Steel

Technologies and Application Days

(ESTAD), a technical forum hosted

as part of the Düsseldorf Metec

trade fair. Lüngen is also chairman

of the Technical Group Steel 1

(TGS1) of the Research Fund for Coal

and Steel (RFCS). He is succeeding

Peter Dahlmann, who retired in

November. •

Dr Hans Bodo Lüngen

40 01 | 2020

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Eine Marke der Maenken Kommunikation GmbH

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03 | 2020 41

Preview & Imprint

In the next issue

Preview 2-2020

Foto: Hollandia Infra

The 3D model of the

Thomassen Tunnel bridge

at its final location

Innovative weld-edge preparation for a major steel arched bridge

With a staff of over 350, the Hollandia B.V. group is a leading Dutch steel construction specialist for infrastructure

projects. One of its latest projects – the 296-metre-long Thomassentunnel Bridge in the Port of Rotterdam – is set to

become the biggest bridge in the group‘s long history. It will incorporate the staggering sum of 4,200 tons of heavy

plate. Construction, engineering, production, assembly and installation at the bridge‘s final destination – as well as

project management – are all in the hands of one of the group‘s subsidiaries, Hollandia Infra B.V. In cooperation with

Dillinger‘s Heavy Fabrication Division, this Dutch company developed a new design for weld-edge preparation for the

steel construction. Thanks to this innovation, Dillinger was able to deliver 188 heavy plates measuring up to 120 mm

thick and 17 metres long – ready for installation and just in time.

Challenges for the steel tube and flange industry

Frank Harms, managing director of the German steel tubes federation Wirtschaftsvereinigung Stahlrohre and

flanges federation Fachvereinigung Stahlflanschen, comments ...


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42 01 | 2020

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