ThyssenKrupp executive board chairman Heinrich Hiesinger said that the company has to consider if it still makes sense to operate the Brazilian slab plant and its new strip mill at Calvert, Alabama as a single unit.

TK’s Steel Americas unit reported a loss of €518M on sales of €1044M in its report for the past half year (October 11 – March 12).

The plant in Alabama started operations in March 2011. It has a 5.3Mt/y hot-strip capacity rolling mill, a combined pickling line and tandem cold rolling mill, a continuous pickling line, an acid regeneration plant, four hot-dip galvanizing lines with two furnaces and an offline skin-pass mill. The rolling mill produces strip in steel grades, including multiphase steels and high-strength steels as well as around 1Mt/y of stainless steel. In the first half year the US plant sold 1.4Mt of strip products.

The plant’s main customers are the domestic appliances, construction and tube-manufacturing industries as well as the automotive industry, in particular the large carmakers in the south of the USA.

CSA, located in Sepetiba in state of Rio de Janeiro, supplies slab to both the TKS US plant in Alabama and its Duisberg plant in Germany. CSA started production in November 2010 and has a capacity of 5Mt/y. CSA is a JV in which Vale holds a minority share. It produced 1.7Mt of slabs in the first half of the financial year.

Irrespective of this strategic review, TK said it will continue with the ramp-up of the two plants.