Welcome to the March 2014 edition of Steel Times International. This month we report from Istanbul where Metal Bulletin held its excellent Steel Success Strategies conference. The event covered all bases in terms of the global steel industry and fielded some top notch speakers, including World Steel Dynamics' managing partner, Peter Marcus, who pointed out many things, including his belief that the Chinese economy will crash into the Great Wall before too long. The event discussed emerging economies, stagnating steel demand, the overcapacity issue and positive vibes coming out of the GCC countries.
Readers will also be interested in part two of Steel Times International's exclusive interview with World Steel's director-general, Dr. Edwin Basson. In this issue he discussed the challenges and opportunities facing the industry. Watch out for the third and final part of the interview in our forthcoming April edition, which will be out soon.
Last November's Stahl 2013 in Dusseldorf was a great success and in this issue we publish an article by Bernard O'Connor of European lawyers NCTM O'Connor on unfair trade practices. According to O'Connor, while the European Union has promoted the idea that there should be global competition to ensure fairness in the global marketplace, its trading partners have not agreed to launch negotiations on the creation of an international competition watchdog – or the fair standards to be applied by that watchdog.
As always, there are a host of technical articles, focusing this month on furnaces and continuous casting. We have three Update articles from the USA, Latin America and China and our Perspectives Q&A is from the Swiss company MTAG Technology AG's proprietor, Adrian Bodea.
This month's History page on Tyrolian cultural heritage is written by Fathi Habashi of Laval University, Quebec City, Canada.
I hope you enjoy the issue.
Welcome to the first issue of 2014, which comes to you courtesy of a new editor, Matthew Moggridge, who takes over from Dr. Tim Smith who retired late last year.
We have an exciting issue for you. It carries an exclusive interview with worldsteel's director-general, Dr. Edwin Basson, who welcomed Steel Times International to the organisation's Brussels headquarters last December. Dr. Basson spoke at length about the global steel industry and talked extensively about a number of issues. In this the first of two interviews, we talked at length about the Chinese steel industry. Dr Basson believes that greater two-way communication is needed between Chinese and non-Chinese steelmakers and argues that the West can learn a lot from the Chinese. "They can build technological installations in half the time or speed that the rest of the world can do it," he told Steel Times International, adding that worldsteel has a standing request from its members to do everything possible to interface with Chinese steel producers and continue to build a strong relationship there.
Also in this issue we have an article by steel consultant Keith Walker who talks about the key objectives of metallurgists: to produce better in-service performance by attempting to improve the mechanical properties of steel and enabling the use of steel in new and onerous applications.
Steel Times International's USA correspondent, Myra Pinkham examines how the US steel industry and port transportation groups alike are touting the importance of recent governmental initiatives that could result in increased infrastructure improvements for the nation's inland and coastal ports.
We have a report from the 54th Alacero Conference, which was held in Peru in November last year in which Germano Mendes de Paula concludes that the world steel industry will witness moderate growth over the coming years and that Latin America will not be an exception to that rule.
Italian steelmaking equipment giant Danieli are still growing and thriving, according to a company profile penned by former Steel Times International editor Tim Smith, and we carry and article on Altos Hornos de Mexico (AHMSA) and its new water treatment plant installed at the company's Steckel plate mill in Monclova, Northern Mexico.
In a new regular Q&A feature, we hear from Mike Wheeler, president of USA-based Guild International who believes that the steel industry has an amazing future ahead of it as long as it phases out older, less efficient, highly polluting plants.
As always we have a healthy news section and Update articles on the USA, Latin America and China and last but not least, the History Page, this month written by Harry Hodson.
The November/December of Steel Times International features Minimills and Coating.
The minimill industry has grown from a cluster of scrap based small works established in the 1950s with capacities typically no greater than 300kt/y producing re-bar products to to-day’s minimill groups some of which are now ‘integrated’ EAF works producing several million tonnes a year charging DRI and pig iron with the scrap to reduce the tramp element level sufficiently to produce flat products via the thin slab caster with in-line rolling mill.
Features in this issue look at energy recovery from the EAF, a comparison of vacuum degassing using steam injectors or dry vacuum pumps and a look at the minimill industry in the USA which now produces nearly 60% of its 88Mt of steel in minimills, and – featured on the web site – an article on the various scrap charging scenarios for Tenova’s Consteel scrap pre-heating and continuous charging process.
The Coating feature takes a look at the use of Life Cycle Analysis to compare galvanised utility poles with wooden poles, and special coatings to replace hard chrome with its associated health hazards.
Other features include a report on the recent worldsteel annual conference held in Sao Paulo in October.
The regular News pages, Updates and the History page complete the issue. Also this end of year issue contains the Index of articles and authors for 2013.
This is my last issue as Editor of Steel Times International as I retire after 25 years of association with the title and its sister publication Steel Times.
Thank you all for supporting the title over many years. I am sure my successor, Matthew Moggridge will maintain the standards of this dedicated title to the global steel industry.