April 2019

If you live in the United Kingdom, like I do, don’t moan about Donald Trump. Take a look at the state of the British Government first and the fiasco that is Brexit. We are, quite literally, the laughing stock of the world. I’ll admit now that I feel ashamed to be British as our ‘career politicians’, especially those in the Conservative Party, set about ruining the country and ignoring bigger, more pressing issues, such as poverty, inequality and knife crime.

There are people who moan about Mr Trump. Most of them are Democrats in the USA who must be reeling from Trump’s recent exoneration following the publication of the 300-page plus Mueller Report. In a nutshell there was no collusion with the Russians, which must be good news for Trump supporters.

From where I’m standing, we really need a ‘proper politician’ to handle our negotiations with the European Union, but, unfortunately, we have Theresa May and a bunch of her incompetent ‘colleagues,’ such as Boris Johnson, Jacob Rees-Mogg and Michael Gove. It’s hard not get angry over Brexit, angry and bored with the whole thing. It’s quite clear that leaving the EU is not going to be good for the country – or the British steel industry – and that’s probably why it’s going to run and run, until we’re all bored senseless, because if the ‘establishment’ doesn’t want it, it probably won’t happen. 

I’m not saying that Trump is a ‘proper politician’, he’s not, he’s a businessman, but at least he is getting things done. He’s engaged with North Korea – twice – and he’s turned around the fortunes of the US steel industry with his controversial tariffs, creating thousands of new jobs in the process and boosting the economy.

Next month I’ll be flying direct to Pittsburgh from Brexitland to attend AISTech 2019 – an event of global significance to steelmakers around the world. I’d hazard a guess that the US steel industry will be in a buoyant mood, and understandably so. Personally, I’ll be glad to be in the USA and far away from the grey, gloomy, shuffling population of the United Kingdom, fed up to the back teeth with virtually everything: austerity, Tories, useless politicians, Brexit, street violence, homelessness, you name it, we’ve got it!

For me, Pittsburgh will be like that moment in The Wizard of Oz when the movie changes from monochrome to colour, the former being the UK, the latter being the good old US of A.

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April 2019 highlights

2 Leader by Matthew Moggridge, editor, Steel Times International

4 News – Industry news round-up, astounding facts and figures and diary dates

12 Innovations – The latest contracts and new products from international plant builders and equipment suppliers

27 Latin America update – Chinese investment in Latin America, Part One...

31 USA update – US steel industry on growth trajectory

35 Iron ore – Rio Tinto's futuristic mine

ELECTRIC STEELMAKING

38 The most productive caster ever?

42 Ovako – cleaning up Swedish steel

ENVIRONMENT

49 CCS – more momentum needed

50 A sustainability success story – by Outokumpu

54 What goes around come around by Richard McDonough

SAFETY AT WORK

60 The human factor of plant safety by Richard McDonough

PERSPECTIVES

70 Ametek Land, Ametek Surface Vision – Innovation a key driver

HISTORY

72 Stiff competition further north by Dr. Tim Smith, consultant editor