A EUR12 million finishing line number 32 has been opened by Tata Steel in IJmuiden in the Netherlands.
The new plant, claims Tata Steel, will strengthen the supply of high-value steels to the automotive sector and other markets and will process up to 400kt of galvanised (corrosion resistant) steel coil per year.
Tata Steel's chief commercial officer Henrik Adam said that the investment in the new line would help Tata improve the supply of high quality steels to its customers and that it enables the company to meet stringent quality standards for advanced steels. "These steels are often stronger and thinner enabling our automotive customers to produce more fuel-efficient and lighter vehicles," he said.
The new line is located at the end of Tata's three hot-dip galvanising lines in IJmuiden and will also increase processing speed and delivery reliability, according to Tata.
Hans Fischer, Tata Steel's chief technical officer said that the combination of the company's automotive R&D centre and the new production facilities – both the recently opened finishing line and the third hot-dip galvanising line opened in 2009 – enables Tata to develop and manufacture advanced steel products, such as the company's MagiZinc, for car manufacturers and the construction industry.
The MagiZinc product is a zinc coating for steel products that incorporates aluminium and magnesium and is claimed to offer twice the protection against corrosion, which means that it is possible to apply much thinner layers. Tata claims that the product is harder, making it easier for car manufacturers to process steel products thus reducing rejections and downtime.
Finishing line 32 has freed up the steelmaker's cold rolling plant at IJmuiden which was responsible for finishing galvanised steel and this means that the company will be able to increase the supply of uncoated cold-rolled steel to its customers.