Fives Group and US steelmaker Steel Dynamics Columbus (SDI), which is being described as the most modern mini-mill in the US, has produced the first coil with a new continuous galvanising line (CGL 3) in Columbus, Mississippi, USA.

The first prime coil was produced on 9 July, 2020 on time and in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The project involved equipment delivery from several countries experiencing different forms of lockdown, namely France, Spain, Czech Republic, Italy, Mexico and the USA.

“Our team persevered, and using a strong focus, work ethic and stringent policies to prevent COVID-19 infection on-site, we achieved a positive result safely,” said SDI's galvanising/paint manager, Jeff Roach.

“We worked together 24/7, including remote expert assistance to achieve this goal. For example, we programmed the annealing furnace remotely from Europe with local support. This success could not be achieved without close co-operation from the team on-site,” added project manager Anthony le Blan of Fives DMS, a Fives subsidiary in France.

Kevin Bertermann, vice president of sales and marketing (North America) at Steel Business Line (Fives) said: “We believe success is achieved through teamwork. Operating in the COVID-19 situation offers a unique set of challenges. The team managed a dynamic set of complexities, seemingly day-by-day, stemming from supply chain constraints to travel restrictions to challenging site erection conditions.”

In December 2018, Fives was awarded a supply contract for a galvanising line at the existing SDI Columbus plant. The new CGL with a production capacity of 400kt/yr is designed to diversify SDI’s product portfolio.

The scope includes the design and supply of entry and exit coil handling, degreasing, horizontal annealing furnace, cooling, skin-pass mill, strip leveller, strip inspection sections, automation, as well as metallurgical assistance for various steel grades and types of coating.