Swedish steelmaking group SSAB has expressed “serious interest” in acquiring the Dutch operations of Tata Steel Europe in IJmuiden, according to major German news agency – Handelsblatt.
According to these reports, SSAB has entered early stage talks and only intends on acquiring the Dutch operations from Tata Steel Europe, leaving behind the loss-making British assets.
Some market participants have labelled this SSAB’s “Plan B” if they fail to acquire Thyssenkrupp Steel Europe’s 12mn mt per annum steelmaking facilities in Duisburg.
That said, other commentators speculate that the mismatch in steelmaking capacities between SSAB and Thyssenkrupp would make IJmuiden a much better fit for the Swedish group.
The IJmuiden steelworks has a liquid steelmaking capacity of 7.3mn mt per annum and can produce slab, hot and cold rolled coil, and coated strip products (galvanized coil and packaging steels).
IJmuiden has the convenience of its own seaport whereby steelmaking raw materials such as iron ore and coal can easily be unloaded with finished steel exported the other way.