USSK postpones dynamo steel investment on tough market

US Steel Kosice (USSK) has postponed its dynamo steel strip investment on account of reduced selling prices in quarterly and monthly contracts, and the difficult outlook for Europe’s economy in 2020. So said parent US Steel in its full-year 2019 guidance published last month.

Twelve months ago USSK said it plans to build a new 100,000 tonnes/year capacity non-grain oriented (NGO) electrical steel line at a cost of $130 million (see Kallanish passim). The new line was to enable production of silicon NGO electrical steel, which is in increasing demand in automotive and generator manufacturing.

Last summer USSK ordered from Tenova LOI Thermprocess an annealing and coating line (ACL) for dynamo steel strip. The new unit was to be named Dynamo-Line no.4.

When contacted by Kallanish a USSK spokesperson declined to comment on whether this order will be affected by the decision to suspend investment.

US Steel says it “…will continue to be flexible and execute investments at the… Dynamo line at US Steel Europe as market conditions warrant.”

Based on current market conditions the Slovakian steelmaker will also keep blast furnace no.2 idle for the time being. It has two other blast furnaces that remain operational.

In the nine months through September USSK’s shipments fell -16% on-year to 2.83 million net tons.