09-Barrett-Nickel-AlloyBarrett Steel, the UK’s largest independent steel stockholder, reports a near 50% increase in pre-tax profits from £2.2m to £3.1m in the recently filed company results for the financial year to September 2013.

Roy Butcher, non-executive Chairman of Barrett Steel, says: “We are encouraged by the results of the annual accounts.

“The current trading year has started with further pressure on prices though demand generally remains reasonable, we remain optimistic for the remainder of the year.

“Despite a challenging construction market Barrett Steel’s turnover has risen from £261m to £273m and we have continued to invest in capital projects, including energy efficiency.”


Andrew Warcup, Group Financial Director, explains: “Part of this investment includes £300,000 spent on profiling equipment at C Roberts Steel Services in Rotherham and upgrading lathes at the Forge in Newcastle-upon-Tyne at a cost of £600,000.”

Roy Butcher adds: “As part of our long-term growth strategy we have made significant investment in the oil and gas sector with the launch of the Energy Products Division targeting the global energy markets and further developments at the Houston, Texas depot.

“Other recently developed UK based businesses are focused towards export markets and export led customers in line with Board strategy to extend the group’s global reach and gain competitive advantage world wide.”


Barrett Steel also continues to invest in its Environmental Improvement Strategy with the installation of solar panels across the UK sites. Mel Bray, Director of Integrated Management Systems, explains: "The project is an integral part of company strategy to reduce our carbon footprint.”

Published inProduction

saudiSaudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) ranks among the world’s top petrochemical companies and is the largest non-oil company in the Middle East. It was founded in 1976 to capitalize on the country’s hydrocarbon and mineral resources.

SABIC has 21 industrial complexes located in the industrial cities of Jubail and Yanbu producing chemicals, fertilizers, iron, steel, and specialty products. SABIC manufactures on a global scale in the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific. 

SABIC has significant research resources with a dedicated Technology & Innovation center in Riyadh and technology centers in various other parts of the world including Jubail, Asia, Europe and the United States.

SABIC has been contributing significantly to society within its Corporate Social Responsibility strategy, and is dedicated to building a supportive relationship with the communities wherever it operates.

Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) is officially the Platinum Sponsor for Metal & Steel Saudi Arabia 2014 during April 7- 10, 2014 at Riyadh international convention and exhibition centre - KSA . All guests are invited to visit SABIC booth No. A14.

Over 200 brands from around the world will exhibit at Metal & Steel KSA 2014, including Turkey, Italy, Germany, UK, USA, Spain, Austria, Brazil, Netherlands, France, Switzerland, China, India, Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Taiwan, UAE, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon and more from, introducing new products, technologies, innovations and demonstrations of the industry's newest advancements.

Metal & Steel Saudi Arabia 2014 presents exhibitors with an outstanding opportunity to meet new and existing customers, launch new products and benefit from on-site sales, plenty of sales leads and brand visibility. It delivers an excellent return on investment for exhibitors and a first-rate event for visitors.

Monday, 10 February 2014 12:00

Roaring into MACH!

2014-02-10 103250As excitement mounts for MACH 2014 the latest news is that World land speed record holder and Project Director for the Bloodhound Supersonic Car (SSC) Richard Noble OBE will be on the start line to open the Exhibition.

Bloodhound has long been on the floor plan but the announcement that Richard will be opening the event is great news. Many MACH Exhibitors are involved with the Bloodhound SSC project and MACH 2014 is the third time that the team themselves will be at the Show.

Graham Dewhurst, Director General of the MTA which owns and runs MACH 2014, said: “MACH 2014 and Bloodhound are obvious partners. MACH 2014 is the only place to see the full scope of the UK’s advanced engineering supply chain all in one place from household name OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) like Rolls Royce and Airbus, through to the companies that make the machine tools with which manufacturing begins.

2014-02-10 103051“Education and training is an ever more important part of what MACH is about and Bloodhound is uniquely placed to enthuse young people about an engineering career. The project is a mainstay of our Education and Training Zone and is always very popular. We’re delighted that Richard has agreed to open the Exhibition and give our visitors an insight into what it’s like not just to go faster than the speed of sound but to put together one of this generation’s most inspiring engineering projects.”

Richard Noble OBE said:

“MACH 2014 is a showcase of the very best from the world of engineering, it enables all parts of the supply chain to come together, share ideas and demonstrate what can be achieved here in the UK.

The event also provides a great opportunity for the next generation of engineers to find out more about the industry and the opportunities available to them.

 It’s great to be part of MACH again and the BLOODHOUND Team is looking forward to April.”

The Opening Ceremony for MACH 2014 will be held at 11:00am, Monday, 7th April at the Entrance to Hall 5 at the NEC.

The Exhibition itself will actually open for business at 9:30am on 7th April.

High-strength and ductile - these are the significant characteristics of the new special steel HSX® Z10. At wire 2014, Steeltec AG, a company of the SCHMOLZ + BICKENBACH GROUP, will introduce the micro-alloy material solution to industry professionals for the first time. With a fatigue limit under tension stresses of 400 MPa, it is ideally suited to precision parts subjected to dynamic transverse loading and high internal pressure. Presentations on HSX® Z10 as well as the new, modular HSX® 90 material concept round off the Steeltec AG information offerings at the GROUP's stand number A16 in hall 17.

hsx 3 opt 700

Already in an as-delivered condition, the high-strength and higher-strength special steels from Steeltec AG have a high mechanical strength and good machinability.

High-strength and higher-strength special steels are the main area of specialization of Steeltec, manufacturers of bright steels. "Delivering strength, versatility and innovation – this is our motto every day, not just for the trade fair," explains Guido Olschweski, Head of Quality Management and Development at Steeltec. "With our new ferrite-perlitic HSX® Z10 steel we have developed an efficient solution for heavy-duty applications in the automotive, manufacturing and engineering, and hydraulics industries." The steels easily meet the demands to which, for example, shafts or pump parts are subjected, specifically transverse loads and high internal pressure. In its as-delivered condition, it has a tensile strength of approx. 950 MPa and an elongation after fracture of 12%. The fatigue strength of 400 MPa under a circumferential bending load demonstrates the material's excellent dynamic loading capacity made possible by selected micro-alloy elements."The carbon content at 0.3% is relatively low," says Olschewski. This makes HSX® Z10 ideally suited for welding, but also for surface hardening. A value of 55 HRC can be achieved through induction hardening. Another advantage that is characteristic of all high-strength and higher-strength special steels from Steeltec: compared to standard quenched and tempered steels, no additional production stages are needed such as downstream heat treatment and subsequent additional processing stages such as reshaping, grinding, and deburring. The result is shorter production and cycle times. Parts costs drop noticeably.

hsx 1 opt 700

In its as-delivered condition, HSX® Z10 has a tensile strength of 950 MPa and an elongation after fracture of 12%.

Steeltec complete their offerings at wire with the introduction of the new steel HSX® 90. With its high variance in mechanical and technical properties, this steel can be engineered specifically for particular requirements of an application. From April 8 to 10, Steeltec will hold two presentations daily on the special features of both material innovations at stand A16 in hall 17. Prospective customers can have a look at examples of applications for these materials such as fuel injection components for engines, a document shredder shaft, and an ebike power unit.

hsx 2 opt 700

The new HSX® Z10 special steel is ideal both for welding as well as for induction hardening.

Trade visitors can obtain additional information at wire 2014 in Düsseldorf or on the internet at www.steeltech.ch.

Friday, 13 December 2013 09:51

How Steel Is Making Its Comeback

In a recent 50/50 joint venture, ArcelorMittal and Nippon Steel and Sumitomo Metal bought the ThyssenKrupp AG Calvert, Alabama steel complex for $1.55 billion. The plant has a running capacity of 3.5 million metric tons per year. It produces hot rolling, cold rolling, and finished steel from slab steel input. The plant will supply zinc-coated sheet steel to the U.S. automotive and construction industries.

sheet steel imtArcelorMittal and Nippon Steel will purchase 2 million tons of slabs per year from ThyssenKrupp's Brazilian operation for the next five years. ThyssenKrupp's plants in Brazil can produce 5 million tons of slab steel. To keep the plant profitable, ThyssenKrupp will have to operate the plant at least at 80% utilization, producing more than double the amount it will supply to Calvert, Alabama. That leaves about 3 million tons of slab steel for sale in the merchant steel market.

Hit by three years of losses and mounting debt, ThyssenKrup is attempting to restructure away from bulk steel and into elevators and factory components. It hopes to cut about $600 billion in costs over the next two years.

Steel market dynamics
At the top of the steel value chain is iron ore. Iron ore forward prices into late 2014 are backwardated by as much as 15%. Backwardation occurs when the expected future spot price seen in today's transactions is lower than prices for spot delivery. Usually backwardation is symptomatic of larger than anticipated inventories and slower than expected demand at the consumer end of the value chain. It also does not last for very long as producers shift operations from low to high margin regions.

Iron ore is converted into liquid iron and often casted into pig iron. Limestone and coke (from coal to add carbon) are added to iron to produce steel. Crude steel is then formed into ingots, blooms, billets, slabs, and sheets. This is the input to the Calvert mill from the ThyssenKrup Brazilian steel maker.

Form this point slabs are fabricated into various steel products such as hot rolled coils, or HRC and sold as finished steel from the loading dock at Calvert. The spread between slab steel and HRC averages about $175 per ton.

U.S. market grows
Finished steel prices have sagged some in the E.U. and Asia due to slower demand. However, in the U.S. a semblance of an economic recovery, and some significant supply disruptions at U.S. Steel, combine to support prices through 2013.

Supply and demand for any commodity is dependent on the region. Excess supply of iron ore and semi-finished steel will shift from the E.U. and Asia to the Americas. Anti-dumping protection in the U.S. will help insure that U.S. finished steel prices will continue to exceed Asian prices.

It seems this is what ArcelorMittal and Nippon are banking on. The Calvert plant could run at more than 4.5 million tons per year. To do that ArcelorMittal would need to divert about 2 million tons of slab steel to Alabama. The shortfall in the merchant market can be made up by utilizing the ThyssenKrupp Brazilian plant at 80% of capacity.

Payback hedged
In either case, the volumes remain flat, and so too will input prices to the Calvert plant. At a $175 per ton baseline spread, the Calvert plant could earn a margin of over $787 million per year. With infrastructure demand burgeoning in the Americas, HRC prices should be rising while slab prices remain stable. In this scenario payback for the ArcelorMittal-Nippon Steel consortium could take less than two years. The plant should be contributing to dividends within that timeframe.

ArcelorMittal had cut its dividend in 2012. Chairman Lakshmi Mittal cited Chinese steel demand substitution, slower global demand, its own large debt overhang, and reregulation of commodity markets as contributing factors. The opportunity to buy ThyssenKrup's Alabama asset shifts new earnings sources to the Americas. The debt has been reduced. ArcelorMittal's slump may be over.

Published inSheet Metal
Commencing Commercial Operation of Automotive Steel Pipe/Tube Business in Mexico

NIPPON STEEL PIPE MÉXICO, S.A. DE C.V. (“NPM”), established by Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation (Chairman & CEO: Shoji Muneoka, “NSSMC”), Sumitomo Pipe & Tube Co., Ltd. (President: Rempei Nakanishi, “SP”), Sumitomo Corporation (President: Kuniharu Nakamura, “Sumitomo”) and Metal One Corporation (President: Naoto Matsuoka, “Metal One”), has completed the construction and commissioning of all its plant facilities and started its commercial operation in late May 2013 on schedule.
In Mexico, the production of automobiles (four-wheeled vehicles) has grown to the world’s eighth largest, turning out 3 million cars in 2012. With Japanese automakers’ commencement of production or the expansion of production capacities in Mexico, car production is expected to continue to show a sharp increase in the future. In response to such increase, also expected is a fast expansion in demand for middle- to high-grade steel pipes/tubes where NSSMC and SP have competitive strength.
NPM, as the core production base of automotive pipe/tube in Mexico, will work to keep up steady supplies of high -accuracy and -precision and high quality products for Japanese, North American and European automakers and auto parts makers in Mexico, and to expand and enhance customer services.
NSSMC, SP, Sumitomo, and Metal One will continue to develop and expand their overseas operations aggressively in order to respond globally to demand for automotive steel pipe/tube.

At the beginning of April, Siemens Metals Technologies received the final acceptance certificate for the stainless steel works owned by Outokumpu Stainless in the USA. The plant was constructed in Calvert, Alabama, and went into operation in November 2012. The scope of supply from Siemens included an electric arc furnace, an AOD converter, secondary metallurgical facilities, and a continuous slab caster. The plant is designed to produce one million tons of AISI 200, 300 and 400 grades of stainless steel per annum.

plant sie

The new stainless steel works was constructed on a "green field" site near the port of Mobile for ThyssenKrupp Stainless LLC, and sold to Outokumpu at the end of 2012. Siemens received the order to equip the plant in 2008. Liquid steel is produced in an electric arc furnace with a tapping weight of 160 tons. The steel is then further processed in a 180-ton AOD converter and a ladle treatment station. Integrated basic automation and a Level 2 process optimization system ensure that all components of the plant interact optimally. In order to minimize the environmental impact, Siemens installed a dedusting system with pulse-jet filters for the electric arc furnace and the AOD converter.

Siemens supplied the complete, single-strand continuous slab caster for the casting section. The bow-type caster has a casting radius of 9 meters and a straight mold. It is designed to produce slabs ranging in width from 800 to 1900 millimeters and thicknesses from 180 to 240 millimeters. The casting speed is 1.3 meters per minute. The plant produces stainless steels of AISI quality grades 200, 300 and 400 for a wide range of applications. The casting plant features a number of technology packages to assure the internal and external quality of the slabs. These include a mold level control, a breakout detection system, a hydraulic mold oscillator and a system to adjust the width of the slabs. The strand containment is equipped with smart segments. The combination of the Dynacs cooling system with internally cooled I-Star rollers offers maximum flexibility in the secondary cooling. The scope of supply also includes the complete basic and process automation, as well as machines for weighing the slabs.

Siemens was responsible for engineering and supplying the equipment, supervising the installation and commissioning work, and providing the training of the customer’s personnel.

Published inProduction