Steelmaker Salzgitter ramps up new hot dip galvanizing line

Salzgitter’s new hot dip galvanizing line no. 3 project (FV3) was ramping up after reaching operational readiness in October, the German steelmaker said Nov. 10.

The group invested around Eur200 million ($199 million) in subsidiary Salzgitter Flachstahl’s new plant, which has a planned capacity of 500,000 mt/year and will supplement the company’s two existing hot dip galvanizing lines to expand Salzgitter Flachstahl’s share in the premium flat rolled steel products segment, it said.

The plant will use an annealing furnace, which can heat and cool material faster than existing hot dip galvanizing lines and reach a higher annealing temperature, Salzgitter said.

That will support the production of high- and ultra-high-strength steel grades for use in vehicle body and chassis applications and also supply the domestic appliances sector in applications such as sophisticated surface components.

It will produce hot dip galvanized sheet with thicknesses between 0.7 mm and 2.5 mm and widths from 900-1,700 mm, with the coils of strip to have a maximum weight of 32 mt, Salzgitter said.

The plant was Salzgitter’s largest single investment of the past 10 years, it said, adding it had partnered with plant manufacturer SMS group on the project.

“The new line will further strengthen the group’s position as a leading manufacturer of premium products for national and international customers in the automobile industry and the domestic appliance sector,” it said.

“The new hot dip galvanizing line is an essential element in safeguarding the future competitiveness of Salzgitter as a center of steelmaking and the jobs that go with it, because this investment will enable us to further expand our existing high-quality product portfolio,” Salzgitter Group Management Member and Salzgitter Flachstahl CEO Ulrich Grethe said.

“In this way we can support our customers’ own ongoing development by offering the material concepts they need as well as the associated service,” Grethe said.

“Despite the adverse conditions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, we have remained on schedule,” Salzgitter Flachstahl Operations Director, cold rolled products Michael Bruhl said, adding that while the planning and construction stages had progressed, the company had already engaged in discussions with customers about material concepts.

“The ramp-up phase is now in full swing, and we are confident that we will very quickly be delivering the desired qualities,” Bruhl said.

Platts, part of S&P Global Commodity Insights last assessed hot-dipped galvanized coil prices in Northwest Europe at Eur765/mt ex-works Ruhr Nov. 9, down 29% since the start of 2022.

— Jacqueline Holman