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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 DanSteel supplies plates for European wind turbine foundation experiments

NLMK DanSteel A/S has supplied 200 tonnes of plate steel to the PISA Project, a European research and development programme. The high-strength steel will be used for the construction of experimental foundations for offshore wind turbines.

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Tata steel plant implicated in Odisha dengue fever outbreak

A news report by Reuters claims that an outbreak of dengue fever in the Indian state of Odisha was caused by a steel plant under construction by Tata Steel.

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Kocks to upgrade Chinese bar mill

Privately-owned stainless steel producer Taizhou Daming Stainless Steel Co is to upgrade its existing bar mill with a three-roll reducing and sizing block (RSB) to meet customer requirements for increased product quality and thus strengthen its market position.

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Tata’s 55kt/yr Odisha ferro chrome plant to commence operations by March 2015

The first phase of Tata Steel’s ferro chrome plant in the Ganjam district of Odisha in India will commence operation by March 2015, according to a report by India TV News.

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Recent Features

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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Europe’s misplaced ideals?

Gordon Moffat, director-general of EUROFER, says that European climate policy as it stands is threatening the competitiveness of European steelmakers and turning Europe into an industrial museum. However, in an exclusive interview with Steel Times International, he argues that the European Commission's Steel Action Plan has opened up the debate.

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