Turkey’s Colakoglu to raise hot-rolling mill capacity by 50%

Major Turkish steelmaker Colakoglu Metalurji is targeting to raise its hot-rolling mill capacity by 50% to 4.5 million mt with a new annealing furnace. The company submitted its project in this regard to the Turkish Ministry of Environment and Urbanisation and the environmental impact assessment process has already started. S&P Global Platts confirmed this info from Ugur Dalbeler, CEO of the company, on Oct. 30.

The investment is expected to start following the ministry’s approval in the coming months.

After becoming a net hot-rolled coil exporter in 2018, with the support of strong European demand,Turkey’s HRC import volumes exceeded export volumes in 2019, as trade barriers, especially EU quotas, restricted Turkish mills’ HRC export volumes notably.

Turkish HRC exporters shipped 3.4 million mt of HRC in 2019, lower than the 3.9 million mt exported in 2018, while Turkish imports of HRC totaled 4.3 million mt in 2019, higher than 3.8 million mt imported in 2018.

Although the coronavirus pandemic hit domestic demand especially in April and May, Turkish buyers’ imports of HRC in the first half reached roughly 2 million mt, only slightly lower year on year, as competitive import offers spurred notable buying interest in Turkey.

With the notable rise in Colakoglu’s HRC production capacity with this investment, imports of HRC into Turkey are expected to decrease in the coming years. Another Turkish steel producer is also planning to raise its HRC production capacity, Platts heard, but couldn’t confirm as of Oct. 30.

Colakoglu started production of special grades of stainless sheet at the beginning of October, in line with the company’s target of focusing more on value-added steel as Platts has reported.

The steelmaker currently has bar output capacity of 1 million mt/year and HRC production capacity of 3 million mt/year.

— Cenk Can