Duferco Travi e Profilati’s new 900.000-mt beam rolling mill at its headquarters in San Zeno Naviglio, northern Italy will become operative in January 2023, Antonio Gozzi, president and CEO Duferco Italia Holding, said in a web seminar covered by S&P Global Platts Feb. 1.
“We are in the phase of installing the reheating furnace. Our new rolling mill will be endowed with the most modern technologies also in terms of environmental impacts and it will be the European best cost producer,” Gozzi said.
In November 2020, the company announced the total investment on the new mill, facility and infrastructure included, amounting to Eur180 million ($202 million). With the opening of the new facility, the total rolling mill capacity of the group will reach 1.5 million mt of long products and make the company more efficient.
“We ended with an investment [that was] a bit higher [than anticipated]… Eur200 million as costs went up, but we are very excited as it will greatly increase our competitiveness and it will also be the first rolling mill to be fed with green energy,” Gozzi told Platts in a follow up call Feb. 1.
The power supply of the new rolling mill will be completely covered by renewable energy thanks to the company’s green power purchase agreement, a first by a steel company in Italy. The mill will have cutting edge technologies, focused on digitization, artificial intelligence and automation both for production and logistics.
During the webinar and the call with Platts, Gozzi said that he was optimistic about the current year, though he expected it to not be as “amazing” as 2021. “The demand for steel will still be very strong, thanks to the rebound of the automotive industry, but also to all the investments… into the infrastructure in Europe and in Italy. As a group, I can say that we had a strong first quarter and although the margins can still be a problem due to the high energy costs, with the correction in [the prices of] the raw materials, [they] are still good,” he told Platts.
Gozzi told Platts that Duferco Travi e Profilati closed 2021 with a net profit of Eur46 million after tax and 800.000 mt of crude steel output. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic weighted on the company — the operations of which are largely located in what became the epicenter of the pandemic in Italy — and it closed the year with a profit of Eur4 million.
Duferco Travi e Profilati is part of Duferco Group and owns fours production plants in San Zeno Naviglio, Giammoro, Pallanzeno and San Giovanni Valdarno. Duferco TP is one of the main producers of steel beams and long products in Italy, Europe and North Africa. The steel plant in San Zeno Naviglio, where the new rolling beam will be installed, is the main plant of the group with a production capacity of about 950,000 mt of steel per year.
Duferco Group is an international holding company that has historically operated mainly in the steel industry. Over the years, it developed highly differentiated businesses in energy, industrial and shipping sectors. Headquartered in Luxembourg, the group has 100 operative offices and industrial sites across the world.
In December 2020, Duferco and America-based Nucor ended their 12-year old joint venture, after which Duferco owned 100% of Duferco Travi e Profilati.
— Annalisa Villa