On Friday, the last rolling orders were fulfilled at thyssenkrupp Steel’s heavy plate mill in Duisburg-Hüttenheim. The rolling mill, the key unit of the plant, has been shut down, the company says in a press release.
The final closure of the entire business unit will be completed by September 30. Until that date, the remaining finished products will be delivered to customers.
thyssenkrupp Steel had decided to close down this business unit as part of its steel Strategy 20-30 since it did not see any economically viable future for it within the group. The hot strip cut-to-length line in Antwerp belonging to the heavy plate unit will not be affected by the closure. High-strength and wear-resistant cut-to-length plates for trucks, construction or agricultural machinery will therefore remain in the portfolio, the group notes
Despite its size and significance, thyssenkrupp’s plate unit over the years faced much criticism. Tk Steel’s works council, for example, repeatedly bemoaned that the group failed to provide enough funds for investment into renewal.
“It could have been turned into a cash cow,” a works council spokesman once told Kallanish. The lack of investment was denied by the press department, which pointed at upgrade measures that had indeed taken place in the past 10 years.
One former employee at the unit claims that the product planning system on the sales side was insufficient for a long time, dating back into the 1990s.
“People never received what they had ordered,” he says.
Christian Koehl Germany