Marcegaglia to invest in slab caster, coil mill

Italian steel producer Marcegaglia will take over French specialty steelmaker Ascometal, including its Fos-sur-Mer plant, where it will invest €600mn ($652mn) to expand an electric arc furnace (EAF), and build a slab caster and hot-rolling mill.

A ruling today by the Strasbourg judicial court officiated Marcegaglia as the buyer of the troubled steelmaker, which was undergoing bankruptcy proceedings.

Marcegaglia plans to increase the output of the EAF to 1mn-1.2mn t/yr. A hot-rolled coil plant will be built with a capacity of 1.6mn-2mn t/yr, which will be supplied by a new continuous slab caster, to replace existing ingot production.

The site will then meet 30pc of Marcegaglia’s steel requirements.

“This important acquisition is part of the group’s global strategy, with the aim of integrating the entire value chain into our production. The grand port of Marseille is located in a strategic position in terms of raw materials and logistics,” company owners Antonio and Emma Marcegaglia said.

This is a key acquisition and expansion for the Italian re-roller, especially in the context of the European Commission’s proposal this week to further restrict imports of hot-rolled coils (HRC) – of which Marcegaglia is the biggest buyer in Europe. The EC plans to introduce a 15pc limit to each importing country’s access to the “other countries” HRC quota.

By Carlo Da Cas