thyssenkrupp Steel puts together largest investment package in 20 years
thyssenkrupp Steel puts together largest investment package in 20 years
thyssenkrupp Steel is investing a sum in the high three-digit million range, setting the course for modernization of its production network. The goals: more capable products, increased flexibility, and a sharper customer focus.
The investments thyssenkrupp Steel has scheduled for the Duisburg, Bochum, and Dortmund sites will significantly improve the quality of the product. A completely new line consisting of continuous casting lines, a hot strip mill, a double reversing mill and an annealing-isolating line will further optimize manufacturing processes and make them even more homogeneous in the future. This applies in particular to the production of non grain oriented electrical steel and multiphase steels for the automotive industry and premium industrial applications as well for blackplate for the packaging industry. Customers’ main benefit as a result of these upgrades will be having access to steels with improved geometrical and electromagnetic properties.
The plant expansion measures described above will also lead to an increase in production capacity, which in turn will improve our ability to deliver the products as ordered and on time. In addition, the investment package underpins the company’s image as a technology and quality leader and sustainably strengthens its position in European market. The upgrades are an integral part of the company’s Steel Strategy 20–30, with its goal to focus more on profitable and growing markets that are opening up as a result of, for example, the energy transition and the expansion of electromobility. In this context, the focus is primarily on premium steel grades that are required for, among other things, efficient e-mobility solutions for motors and generators – such as powercore® Traction . Products from the premium surfaces segment, such as ZM Ecoprotect® and dual-phase steels – which are required above all in the automotive industry for constructing lightweight structural and crash-relevant components – continue to be of great importance.
Hot-dip galvanized coatings gaining in importance
The new build and upgrade of production facilities will enable thyssenkrupp Steel to meet the changing needs of the market – such as the demand for tighter tolerances and thinner and wider products – in the best possible way. In principle, the investments at the three sites are a big step on the road to achieving the climate-neutral steel production being targeted – and consequently to the ongoing transformation of thyssenkrupp Steel in general. The modernization measures are all set to be completed within the next four years.
Continuous casting line 3
An all-new continuous casting line is planned for Duisburg-Bruckhausen. It will replace continuous casting line 1 and offer, among other things, significant metallurgical benefits that will increase our customers’ productivity and improve the surface quality of their products. Construction of the new plant is scheduled for 2024.
Slab storage facility
In the context of its 20-30 strategy, thyssenkrupp Steel ordered a fully automated slab storage facility from Italian plant constructor Danieli & C. Officine Meccaniche, for a sum in the tens of millions. The most significant special feature of this project is its intelligent logistics control This enables the real-time synchronization of around 1.7 million tonnes of slab per year. Some of this is used directly from the continuous casting line in the new hot-strip mill 4, or also fed from the new walking beam furnaces. In addition, there are plans for the installation of a warehouse management system which calculates the distribution of the slabs from various sources in real time and optimizes all crane movements. In addition to the optimum usage of the 19,200 square meter slab storage facility, another advantage lies in improved operational safety, as there will in future be no need for personnel on the ground. The Danieli company is providing four fully automated slab cranes and taking on the construction and installation of the entire steel structure. Completion is scheduled in two phases. In the first phase, four cranes and crane runways will be commissioned by the end of 2022/beginning of 2023. In the second phase the entire storage facility, including two holding furnaces, will be commissioned by the middle of 2023.
Continuous casting line 4 & hot strip mill 4
At the Duisburg site, the existing casting rolling line will be converted into a continuous casting line with downstream hot strip mill. The project is the largest single construction measure of the investment package. Completion and integration are scheduled for 2024. This upgrade will increase the casting and rolling capacities of the plant and improve utilization of the upstream steel mill. In addition, process-optimized plant technology based on Industry 4.0 solutions will enable the portfolio of higher-strength steels and premium surfaces to be expanded. Customers can expect significant quality improvements, more flexible slab production, and positive long-term effects on their security of supply and ability to meet deadlines.
Double reversing mill
The cold strip mill on the Bochum site is to be equipped with a new double reversing mill. With its back and forth (reversing) action, the rolling mill will be able to roll particularly thin materials. These are used, for example, in the e-mobility segment and increase among other things the efficiency of electric vehicles. The new double reversing mill will strengthen thyssenkrupp Steel’s e-mobility and multiphase steel portfolios and create new future product options for customers.
Annealing and isolating line
The Bochum site will see the construction of a new annealing and isolating line. Together with the new double reversing mill, the site will be expanded to create a competence center for steels for electromobility. In particular, the site’s capabilities in the production of non grain oriented electrical steel will be expanded to best meet the increasing demand for ever thinner and high-silicon materials.
Hot-dip coating line
In Dortmund the new hot-dip coating line FBA10 will be ramped up from summer 2022. This move on the part of thyssenkrupp Steel is following the continuously growing demand trend for more hot-dip galvanized products with premium surface qualities, especially in the automotive industry. The plant, which is around 350 meters long and up to 65 meters high, will be used to produce materials for vehicle interior parts and bodyshell applications, using the established hot-dip galvanizing method and the highly innovative zinc-magnesium coating method. These methods not only save on material and cost but are also sustainable thanks to the reduced coating thickness. The automotive industry in particular will benefit from the expanded production capacities of up to 600,000 tons of steel per year for hot-dip coated premium products from the new FBA10.
Finishing line 13
An ultra-modern finishing plant for packaging steel is currently being created at thyssenkrupp Rasselstein in Andernach, in the form of the VA 13. From the middle of 2023, tin mill strip will be specially chromium-coated there in an innovative process. The new coating technology by the name of Trivalent Chromium Coating Technology (TCCT®) is based on chromium(III), replacing the previously usual chromium(VI). With it the company will shortly be able to offer its customers a future-proof product for the manufacture of chromium-coated steel packaging, which complies with the requirements of the EU-REACH regulation. The quantities of this REACH-compliant, special chromium-coated packaging steel are to be gradually increased by means of the VA. At the same thyssenkrupp Rasselstein will reduce the production of ECCS with chromium(VI) at finishing plant 8 by the corresponding amount. The capacity for special chromium-coated packaging steel will remain the same in this period. Before the end of 2023, VA 13 is to replace the current plant which manufactures ECCS. From that date our portfolio will only include special chromium-coated packaging steel which has been produced 100% free of chromium(VI). With this capital investment in the hundreds of millions, thyssenkrupp continues to back sustainability, process efficiency, quality and competitiveness. At the same time the measures to protect health and the environment can be further improved in this way.