CELSA Group ™, a leading Spanish steel group and the second largest European manufacturer of long steel products, has laid the first stone of the new rolling mill to be developed at the CELSA France facilities, located in the municipalities of Boucau and Tarnos, within the region of New Aquitaine.

The event, which was attended by important political and business personalities of the New Aquitaine región, started with a welcome from Francesc Rubiralta, president of CELSA Group

After thanking those present for their assistance, Rubiralta himself stressed that the construction of the rolling mill “will position CELSA France as the largest steel complex in southern France and will be an element of great strategic value for the Group's growth. Once its development is completed, the current Boucau-Tarnos steelworks will go from manufacturing steel billets to producing finished products, thus increasing its competitiveness and profitability.’’

The planned investment by CELSA Group to launch the new rolling mill is estimated at around 60 million euros,which will involve the creation of about 140 new jobs directly and 420 indirect employment. Likewise, its consolidation will be an important boost to the economic dynamism of the region, reinforcing the position of CELSA France, which today is the main company of the French Basque Country and represents 45% of Bayonne's port traffic.

The rolling mill will allow significant progress for CELSA France as the company will have the capacity to produce finished products that will be made available to the group's customers in France, among others. This fact will also improve delivery times and customer service by operating directly from the territory.

The development of a new rolling mill and the consolidation of a steel complex in France are framed in the 2016-2022 Strategic Plan defined by the group with the objective of strengthening its growth and looking to the future with guarantees from a responsible perspective aligned with the promotion of activity models based on the concept of a circular economy.

Among the key pillars on which the business plan is based are leadership in long steel products, an aspect of which the CELSA France project will play a decisive role; geographic and product diversification; the integration of the activity in order to position CELSA Group as a reference in services related to steel; the commitment to innovation and Industry 4.0 to lead to the transformation of the sector; and cost competitiveness.

Sustainable development and the momentum of the circular economy are motivating factors for CELSA. Currently, the Group recycles 8Mt/yr of scrap and, as such, is the largest recycler in Spain and the second in Europe. The new rolling mill will help minimise the impact of industrial activity allowing an improvement in energy and environmental efficiency through lower energy consumption. In addition, the ability to provide customers with a comprehensive service from CELSA France's facilities will reduce emissions from transportation.

Mathieu Bergé, the regional councilor of New Aquitaine, said that “this is a moment of celebration that allows us to claim the industrial future of a port like Bayonne. Today we witness industrial support and co-ordination between municipalities, in a clear example of the territory's potential.”

Xavier Fortinon, president of the Departmental Council of Landes, has valued “the capital importance of the collaboration of all the actors involved in a project of such magnitude that it will stimulate economic development and job creation. Thanks to the dedicated effort, CELSA Group has made progress in a project that addresses the deindustrialisation of our country. ”

The mayor of Boucau, Francis Gonzalez, expressed his satisfaction for the future new rolling mill: “I want to wish CELSA Group a great success with this project that I am sure will have positive effects for Boucau and the entire region of Bayonne.”

Finally, the mayor of Tarnos, Jean-Marc Lespade, said that “today a rolling mill becomes a reality that will be perfectly integrated into the ecosystem of the region. At a time when no one can ignore environmental challenges, it is important to highlight CELSA Group's commitment to the circular economy and sustainability. ”