NEW YORK Allegheny
Technologies Inc. (ATI) expects its new hot-rolling and
processing facility in Brackenridge, Pa., which will boost its
ability to make ferritic stainless steels as well as longer and
wider coils, will be completed by the end of the year.
The new facility will allow the
company "to more fully participate in market opportunities for
the wider product, the larger coils, (and make) us more
efficient in producing some of the ferritic grades, the
400-series grades that, quite frankly, we have a difficult time
doing on our existing 60-plus-year-old hot mill," chairman,
president and chief executive officer Richard Harshman said
during the companys earnings conference call.
He said the facility will open
to the company a further 40 to 50 percent of the flat-rolled
stainless market "that we cannot participate in today because
we dont have the capability of producing the
The new hot mill will start up
in a market environment in which the share of 400-series
stainless, which uses no nickel while achieving some of the
same properties as austenitic stainless grades, has grown.
"Due to less raw material cost
volatility, many traditional 300-series stainless applications
have moved to 400-seriesthat is, non-nickel bearing
alloysover the past several years," Harshman said.
In addition to widening the
companys product offerings, the facility is expected to
significantly reduce lead times. "The cycle time with the
continuous automated finishing line is approximately 30 minutes
from hot-rolled coil to finished coil," Harshman said. "This
compares to a cycle time of approximately two weeks at most
conventional stainless finishing facilities in the world."
The result will be "a cost
structure that generates positive income before tax for our
standard stainless products, even at the historically low base
prices seen in 2012," he said.
The facility, which is expected
to cost between $1 billion and $1.1 billion, will undergo
commissioning during the first half of 2014, with "most of the
benefit" expected in 2015, according to Harshman. "We have to
commission the mill for rolling every single alloy and product
that we make, which (is) in the hundreds."
companys existing hot mill will be shut in 2015, Harshman