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Latin American Steel: A retrospective in 101 Essays
September 2014

September 2014

The main focus of this month's edition of Steel Times International is Mexico. To quote a few paragraphs from my September leader article, ' the image of Mexico – generated largely by the media – as a dusty old place full of sleepy men in sombreros answering mañana to any request made of them is, today, far removed from reality.'

Mexico is said to be moving out of the doldrums thanks to structural reforms to strategic segments of its economy and renewed levels of dynamism. That big names in the global automotive industry, such as Audi, Daimler-Nissan and BMW, have established a foothold in Mexico, can only be good news for the country's developing steel industry.

Mexico has long been a signatory to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and is well-placed geographically in relation to North America, South America and Canada.

This month's issue of Steel Times International contains a 29-page special supplement on Mexico covering all aspects of the country's business environment in relation to steel production.

Outside of Mexico, we are covering the International Stainless Steel Forum's 18th annual conference and carry an interesting article by Outokumpo on its recently completed 100 million Euro equipment upgrade at its stainless steel plate mill in Degerfors, Sweden. The investment, claims the company, will deliver both cost savings and a wide range of benefits for stainless steel plate customers.

There are also two interesting articles on the subject of rolling. First, there is an article by Steel Authority of India Ltd's Research & Development Centre for Iron and Steel on the company's Durgapur merchant mill. There is also an article by Russula's Jens P Nylander on how new technology can increase production capacity.

Manik Mehta reports on the Success Steel Strategies XXIX conference, attended by, among others, ArcelorMittal's Lakshmi Mittal who rather eloquently described steel as 'the fabric of life'.

The subject of this month's Perspectives Q&A is Kevin Guay, senior sales engineer (research and development) of USA-based Plattco who claims he is very optimistic about the progress being made by the steel industry to address the challenge of complying with new and more stringent environmental regulations.

Dr. Tim Smith, Steel Times' consultant editor, writes about Ireland's early blast furnaces for this month's History page and, as usual, we have a number of news update features on the USA, Latin America, China and Japan.

September 2014 Contents

Recent News

NLMK Group steel Q3 2014 output up 4.1Mt

NLMK Group's Q3 2014 highlights include the announcement of a group capacity utlisation rate of 96% and 100% at the company's main production site in Lipetsk.

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Tata Steel to sell Long Products Europe

Tata Steel is selling its Long Products Europe, the company's long products division, to The Klesch Group. The aim is to complete the transaction in the first half of 2015.

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EU steel imports rose in July and August, says EUROFER

Third country steel imports into Europe rose in July and August 2014, according to the latest EU customs statistics.

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NLMK implements large-scale environmental project at Novolipetsk

Russian steelmaker NLMK has engaged the services of Siemens VAI on what amounts to an environmental project at the company's Novolipetsk BOF operations in Russia.

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Recent Features

Mitigation of explosion risk in vacuum degassing plants

With the introduction of mechanical vacuum pumps for degassing, methods of efficient gas
cooling and dust separation become necessary to avoid the risk of a combination of a critical offgas
composition along with an ignition point resulting in an explosion. This article reviews how to
undertake a risk assessment and looks at equipment to mitigate the risk.
By Wilhelm Burgmann* & Uwe Zöellig**

* Consultant for Vacuum Metallurgy, (Strasbourg), e-mail wburgmann@burgmann-net.de
** Oerlikon Leybold Vacuum GmbH (Cologne/Germany), e-mail Uwe.Zoellig@oerlikon.com

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Steel utility poles versus wood

The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) estimates that approximately 185 million utility poles are in service in North America, and most of them are made from wood. When utility poles need to be replaced or a new distribution line set up, utility managers consider factors such as cost and reliability. But increasingly they are also considering the impact of the material on the environment and reviewing their options. By Mark Thimons, director, construction sustainability, Steel Market Development Institute, a business unit of the American Iron & Steel Institute

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What are we without steel?

In the third and final part of his exclusive interview with Dr. Edwin Basson, director-general of worldsteel, Matthew Moggridge, editor of Steel Times International, discusses carbon emissions, climate change, the environment and sustainability

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Challenges and opportunities

In part two of an exclusive interview with Steel Times International, Matthew Moggridge talks to Dr. Edwin Basson, director-general of worldsteel, about the present challenges and opportunities for the global steel industry.

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