German industrial group Thyssenkrupp has inaugurated a new hot-dipped galvanizing line at its Dortmund site, it said on Thursday October 13.
The company first announced plans to build the new HDG line in 2018, to meet the growing demand from the automotive industry for high-quality hot-dipped galvanized products.
The new line has capacity for 600,000 tonnes per year of HDG and was commissioned on October 13, according to a company press release. It will complement Thyssenkrupp’s existing galvanizing line, boosting overall HDG output at Dortmund to 1 million tpy.
A wide range of grades will be produced by the new line, in almost all strength classes for outer panels and structural components, as well as selected industrial products, the press release read.
“This investment in the future is also a mark of confidence in the location, the employees and the steel industry in North Rhine-Westphalia,” the regional president, Hendrik Wüst, said at a ceremony to inaugurate the line on Thursday.
But demand for flat steel in general, and HDG coil in particular, has been extremely weak in Europe for most of 2022 so far, due to the weak performance of key end-user sectors, and particularly the automotive industry.
Automotive output in the EU rebounded in 2021 from a slump by 20.4% in 2020, which was due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. But the rebound was only by 3.4%, according to European steel association Eurofer.
Output from the automotive industry in the bloc was expected show a 0.5% decline in 2022. This would mean that the automotive industry’s output would remain below pre-pandemic levels.
The prices for flat steel products in Europe have been sliding recently, with mills struggling to fill their order books.
Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel HDG, domestic, exw Northern Europe, was €840-860 ($815-834) per tonne on October 12, down by €10-30 per tonne from €850-890 per tonne seven days earlier.
Published by: Julia Bolotova