Spanish flats processor advances CRC/HDG project for 2021 startup

Spain’s Network Steel will start up the continuous pickling line at its new sheet steel processing plant in Leon in the fourth quarter, part of a wider project to transform a former wind turbine factory into a 520,000 mt/year steel processing facility, the company told S&P Global Platts Sept. 1.

In the last week of August the project was started with the arrival of raw materials and 72 workers on site, a spokesman said.

Around 40,000 mt of raw materials including 25,000 mt of steel, according to press reports, have been delivered from the port of Gijon, with production of around 40,000 mt targeted from the pickling line this year.

Following the start-up of the continuous pickling line, the plant will proceed to install a cold-rolled coil line and a hot-dip galvanizing line, which are targeted to start in 2021.

By 2021, total output could reach an interim 200,000 mt/year and then 500,000 mt/year thereafter, Network Steel CEO Oscar Hetch told Leonoticias.

Madrid-based Network Steel acquired the plant, which previously belonged to Danish wind turbine maker Vestas, in 2018 and announced Eur130 million ($148 million) of refit work.

The company, founded by Hetch, started as a trader in 2002 and expanded into exporting territories in Asia, Latin America and the Mediterranean basin before diversifying into industrial activity with a galvanized coil plant in Burgos, Spain, followed by a nearby hot pickling mill for steel coil, among other businesses.

— Gianluca Baratti