Duferco accelerates renewables-powered sections mill construction

Italian sections producer Duferco Travi e Profilati has broken ground for the new Smart Beam Manufacturing (SMB) rolling mill at its San Zeno Naviglio site, near Brescia.

The mill supplied by SMS will become operational in 2023, a company source confirms to Kallanish. With a yearly output of 1.5 million tonnes of long products, it will increase Duferco’s current capacity by 650,000t. Powered by renewable energy, the new mill will have a low carbon footprint, thanks also to the use of green hydrogen.

“The construction of the new rolling mill is making progress day by day according to the schedule: the roof of the buildings is now in place and the assembly of the re-heating furnace by Forni Industriali Bendotti has started,” the Italian company says in a note. The reheating furnace’s burners will also be powered by hydrogen, it adds.

The overall investment is €180 million ($205m). Duferco was awarded last year a loan of €72m for the construction of the mill, provided by UniCredit and DZ Bank over 11 years. The German Export Credit Agency (ECA), Euler Hermes, will support the transaction.

In December, the company and former American partner Nucor signed the financial closing that ended their partnership in the joint venture for Duferco’s Italian operations. The Covid-19 pandemic and consequent cut in Nucor’s overall investment budget were at odds with Duferco’s intention to proceed with the investment in San Zeno (see Kallanish passim).

Natalia Capra France