Voestalpine has added advanced continuous caster (CC) for processing high-grade steel at Donawitz plant on Tuesday. The new unit has an annual production capacity of 1mn mt and will replace the existing 40-year-old facility.
The company’s Metal Engineering segment produces high-quality steels for manufacturing special rails for railways, high-quality wires for automotive and high-grade seamless tubes for the petroleum industry. Voestalpine’s new fully-automated caster, CC4, built with an investment of €90mn will allow the company to improve the quality of its steel grades and cater to highly advanced end products segment.
Chairman of Voestalpine AG, Herbert Eibensteiner says this investment is a significant step in securing the technological edge of the Donawitz site for the years to come and it fully complies with Industry 4.0 standards. CC4 can reach casting speeds of up to 1.7 meters/minute. Higher purity steel or homogenous structure steel can endure extreme heat and stresses and prevent cracks on the surface of the rails.
In the FY2019-2020, Voestalpine’s Metal Engineering segment earned revenues of around €2.9bn through Railway Systems and Industrial Systems business units. Over 40pc of the segment’s revenue was earned outside Europe. The division generated EBITDA of €301mn. The group overall revenues declined by 28.1pc to €2.4bn, with a PAT of €70mn, down from €70mn in FY2019-2020.
End-user shutdowns have reduced the group’s production and shipment in Q1 and Voestalpine’s management has alluded to a seasonally weak steel demand in Q2. The company has, however, maintained its FY2020-2021 EBITDA forecast of €600bn to €1bn. The company’s steel production dropped 22pc to 1.48mn mt in Q1.
The company has restarted small blast furnace in Linzz in early September, which was shut due to weak demand in March.