The completion and opening of the direct reduction plant in Corpus Christi, Texas, last year marked a milestone for the voestalpine Group in its task of securing pre-materials on a long-term basis. After finishing the six-month run-up phase, together with successful completion of all the performance tests, the plant became fully operational on April 1, 2017. As a result, starting in the business year 2017/18, the most advanced and largest plant of its kind in the world will produce two million tonnes of high-quality HBI (hot briquetted iron, or sponge iron) annually—a sophisticated pre-material used in steel production. After concluding the commissioning phase, the final project costs are now known, and amount to USD 1.012 billion. The plant has already achieved a positive result in its first month of full operation.
As one of the world’s leading suppliers to the aerospace industry, voestalpine is consistently driving its growth in this technologically sophisticated future market. As recently as last December the Group agreed on a major EUR 40 million investment in a new high-tech forging line for the production of high-quality pre-materials for aircraft components. Now a further EUR 30 million will go to the Kapfenberg site in Austria over the next two years, to finance a state-of-the-art production facility for aerostructures including highly stress-resistant engine mounts, wing and fuselage components, and landing gear parts. The fully automated facility is scheduled to commence operations as early as 2019.
Today Prime Minister Stefan Löfven visited voestalpine company Uddeholms AB at its headquarters in Hagfors, in southern Sweden. The company is the global market leader in the production of special steels for industrial tool manufacturers. With 850 employees, revenue of EUR 250 million in the business year 2015/16, and an export rate of 94 percent, Uddeholms AB is an important economic factor in the region. Major investment projects will be realized in the coming years, and include the manufacture of metal powder for 3D printing.