NEW YORK ThyssenKrupp
Stainless USA Inc. has officially fired up the melt shop at its
facility in Calvert, Ala., which has the capacity to produce
900,000 tonnes of stainless slab per year.
"The full operation of the
worlds most technologically advanced stainless steel
manufacturing facility is what we have all worked toward since
we first announced we would make Alabama our home in May 2007,"
chief executive officer Michael Wallis said in a statement.
While the melt shop officially
launched Monday, the company said the ramp-up has been running
ahead of schedule.
"The team members and I ran our
first successful heat on Friday, Nov. 16, processing 166 tonnes
of stainless steel grade AISI 304," melt shop director Guido
Stebner said in the statement.
The facility last month was
reported as having begun buying stainless scrap and ferroalloys
for the start-up (
amm.com, Nov. 13).
The melt shop was estimated to
cost 400 million ($529 million) and consists of a
160-tonne electric-arc furnace, 180-tonne argon oxygen
decarbonization converter and a 72-inch continuous caster (
amm.com, Dec. 10, 2010).
In the interim, the
companys European operations supplied the facility with
TK Stainless started finishing
operations at the plant in 2009, and has now hired 714
employees of a planned work force of 953, which is expected by
2015, according to the statement.
The company is a subsidiary of
Inoxum Group, the stainless arm of German steelmaker
ThyssenKrupp AG, which is set to become part of Finnish
stainless producer Outokumpu Oyj following the recent closing
of a merger between the two companies.
The pace of the melt shops
ramp-up has been cited by analysts as a key factor in what is
expected to be a "challenging" domestic stainless market next
amm.com, Sept. 27).