CHICAGO Kloeckner Metals
USAs planned slitting plant on the campus of ThyssenKrupp
Steel USA Inc.s steelmaking complex in Calvert, Ala., is
now under construction.
Announced in June, the
100,000-square-foot facility initially will slit material from
ThyssenKrupp as well as from regional steelmakers and
distributors. The companys broader goal, however, is to
eventually produce steel blanks for automotive assembly plants
throughout North America.
"We should be up and running by
the third quarter of 2013," Kloeckner flat-rolled group
president Russ Delaney told AMM. He declined to
disclose the cost of the project.
"We are on a property that will
allow us to expand beyond that 100,000 square feet," he said.
"Initially, we will perform only slitting, and we have
purchased a 72-inch-wide Braner slitter, which will be
installed late in the second quarter. We are going to be
toll-processing for ThyssenKruppor whoever owns the mill.
We will also pursue our service center customer base, expand
market share and enter the automotive market."
The new slitter will cut
material from coils weighing up to 40 tonnes in thicknesses of
0.01 to 0.25 inch. It is designed to run high-strength and
ultra-high-strength steels, especially ⅛-inch-thick
ultra-high-strength material, the sweet spot for automotive
applications, Delaney said. The facility will process
light-gauge cold-rolled, galvanized and pre-painted coils.
"We have a very small footprint
in automotive right now. We will grow that," Delaney said. "We
intend to put in a cut-to-length blanking line in phase two of
the plan" in order to serve the automotive sector. "Phase two
depends on economics and how the customer base pans out for
blanking. We can proceed fairly quickly" when customer
requirements reach critical mass. "Its already planned
out," he said.
Which types of products are
running and how fast the line can run for each will determine
annual volumes, but the Braner slitter will be able to process
180,000 tons of light-gauge steel per year, Delaney said.
The company said in June it
expects to eventually hire 40 people to run the new
Kloeckner currently has no other
specific projects planned in the North American market.