Russian steelmakers in Europe increase their competitiveness

Two NLMK subsidary companies in Denmark and Belgium are pushing ahead with plans to improve their offerings to the end-customer.

In Denmark, NLMK DanSteel of Frederiksvaerk is launching an in-house steel service centre, while in Belgium NLMK La Louviére, a leading producer of flat steel coils, is spending 150 million Euros on revamping its hot strip mill in order to expand production of thinner, stronger and more environmentally friendly steel.

NLMK DanSteel's aim is to launch an in-house steel service centre to provide customers across Europe 'with an extensive range of oxy cutting operations and other in-demand services. According to the company, its customers already enjoy a one-stop shop and fast-track approach from an idea – a team of CAD professionals create processing files from drawings – to position sorting and just-in-time door-to-door delivery of pre-fabricated plates by sea, rail or road across Europe.

In Belgium, NLMK La Louviére has embarked upon a revamp of its hot strip mill. The investment is part of NLMK's Group Strategy 2022 and will increase production from 1.7Mt to 2.2Mt by 2022, giving the company a bigger share of the HRC market in the European Union.

The upgrade includes installation of a state-of-the-art automation system, three new and three upgraded roll mill stands, new drives and motors and a new run-out table and modernised cooling and water systems.

Phase one of the mill's transformation will be completed early 2020 and by 2021it will be finalised.

Speaking of NLMK La Louviére's upgrade, Ben de Vos, CEO of NLMK International, commented: "This groundbreaking project is the biggest investment in our La Louviére site and its customers in the last decades and will be a cornerstone of its further development."