Click here to close now.

SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Lori MacVittie, Peter Silva, Liz McMillan, Jason Bloomberg, Carmen Gonzalez

News Feed Item

voestalpine Invests More Than a Half Billion Euros in a Direct Reduction Plant in the U.S.

LINZ, Austria, April 23, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --

After about a year of preparation, Wolfgang Eder, CEO of voestalpine, broke ground today for the construction of a direct reduction plant in Texas (USA). This EUR 550 million investment is the largest foreign investment in the history of the Austrian Group. The voestalpine Texas LLC plant is being constructed at the La Quinta Trade Gateway Terminal in close proximity to the City of Corpus Christi. Starting in 2016, the plant will produce two million tons of HBI (Hot Briquetted Iron) and DRI (Direct Reduced Iron) annually and will supply Austrian locations, such as Linz and Donawitz, with "sponge iron" as a premium raw material. With the new facility, voestalpine can significantly reduce production costs in Europe. The highly automated plant will create 150 jobs. 

voestalpine, a steel-based technology and capital goods group headquartered in Linz, Austria, has pursued a consistent strategy of international growth and is constantly looking for new opportunities to establish sustainable cost and technology optimization models. "We investigated 17 locations in eight countries for this project. In the end, Texas was the most promising on all key criteria, such as logistics, energy supply, well-trained employees, and political environment," said Wolfgang Eder, CEO of voestalpine AG and Head of voestalpine's Steel Division on the decision to choose a location. The property is superbly located right on Corpus Christi Bay, covers an area of about two square kilometers, and provides direct sea access for large ships. "With our investment in Corpus Christi, we are significantly enhancing the efficiency of the use of raw materials by our company and at the same time demonstrating that this is possible while being responsible with the environment," stated Eder. The Austrian plants in Linz and Donawitz will obtain access to high-quality, environmentally friendly primary materials (HBI and DRI), and the competitiveness of the European locations will thereby be ensured over the long term.

Direct reduction provides security for the Austrian sites and creates growth options  

The direct reduction plant will use iron ore pellets to produce high-quality DRI/HBI ("sponge iron") comparable to the highest quality scrap or pig iron, which is an excellent primary material for the production of crude steel. In contrast to the coke- and coal-based pure blast furnace route, only natural gas is used as a reduction agent in direct reduction, which is more environmentally friendly. The price of natural gas in the U.S. is about a half of what it is in Europe. The plant - with its 150 employees - will produce two million tons of DRI/HBI annually, of which about half will be shipped by sea to the steel plants in Linz and Donawitz. The other half will be used as a strategic reserve and sold to long-term partners. "We can supply ourselves with competitively priced energy in the U.S. in a politically stable, reliable environment," stated Eder. "Moreover, this investment also creates an additional long-term growth option in North America for the voestalpine Group." The construction of the plant is a heavy construction project in the truest sense. The EUR 550 million investment covers 20,000 tons of constructional steel and 13,000 tons of mechanical equipment. Construction of the plant will employ about 1,000 people for a period of one and a half years.

Direct reduction as an important step toward a "low-carbon economy" 

The use of natural gas instead of coke and coal in the reduction process makes a significant contribution to improvement of the CO2 balance and is an important step in achieving the very demanding internal energy and climate goals. "In the USA as well, we invest in higher than average environmental and safety standards as well as the consistent use of best available control technologies to minimize air, noise, and dust emissions. This also includes being careful with water, which is in short supply in Texas," said Eder. In the USA, there are strict environmental requirements, as in Europe, but with CO2 "Texas takes a different path." A sophisticated logistics concept with round-trip shipping, which uses large eco-ships for transport, reduces costs to a minimum and further relieves the environment. The storage of primary materials in a completely enclosed environment eliminates dust emissions. A progressive seawater cooling system preserves scarce freshwater resources and adds to the sustainable design of the plant.  

"The open and professional collaboration with all the participants on site is exemplary," stresses Eder. "This impressively demonstrates the USA's efforts at rapid and sustainable reindustrialization. The fact that we, as a future-oriented industrial company, were welcomed with open arms was a factor in selecting this location," said Eder.

voestalpine in North America: 2,500 employees and revenues of EUR 1 billion (USD 1.3 billion) 

In the business year 2012/13, the voestalpine Group generated 8 percent of its total revenues of EUR 11.5 billion (USD 15.8 billion) at its 68 locations in North America with about 2,500 employees - this corresponds to about EUR 1 billion (USD 1.3 billion). In the USA alone, 2,000 employees generated revenues of EUR 840 million (USD 1.1 billion). The largest single company, voestalpine Nortrak, with about 1,000 employees and seven production and distribution sites, is a market and technology leader in North America in the sector of railroad switch technology. The Group is also strongly represented in the automotive, stainless steel, energy, and aviation industries. The Metal Forming Division recently opened a plant for ultra-high strength body-in-white components in Cartersville/Georgia with an investment of EUR 50 million (USD 69 million). As part of its long-term globalization strategy, the voestalpine Group will rapidly expand its already strong local presence in the growth market of the United States in the coming years. In other respects, North American investors hold about 10% of voestalpine shares.

The voestalpine Group  

The voestalpine Group is a steel-based technology and capital goods group that operates worldwide. With around 500 Group companies and locations in more than 50 countries and on all five continents, the Group has been listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange since 1995. With its top-quality products, the Group is one of the leading partners to the automotive and consumer goods industries in Europe and to the oil and gas industries worldwide. The voestalpine Group is also the world market leader in turnout technology, special rails, tool steel, and special sections. In the business year 2012/13, the voestalpine Group reported revenue of EUR 11.5 billion and an operating result (EBITDA) of EUR 1.45 billion; it had around 46,400 employees worldwide.

Please direct your inquiries to

voestalpine AG
Peter Felsbach
Spokesman

voestalpine-Strasse 1
4020 Linz
Phone: +43-50304-15-2397
[email protected]
http://www.voestalpine.com

SOURCE voestalpine AG

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
PubNub on Monday has announced that it is partnering with IBM to bring its sophisticated real-time data streaming and messaging capabilities to Bluemix, IBM’s cloud development platform. “Today’s app and connected devices require an always-on connection, but building a secure, scalable solution from the ground up is time consuming, resource intensive, and error-prone,” said Todd Greene, CEO of PubNub. “PubNub enables web, mobile and IoT developers building apps on IBM Bluemix to quickly add sc...
Business and IT leaders today need better application delivery capabilities to support critical new innovation. But how often do you hear objections to improving application delivery like, “I can harden it against attack, but not on this timeline”; “I can make it better, but it will cost more”; “I can deliver faster, but not with these specs”; or “I can stay strong on cost control, but quality will suffer”? In the new application economy, these tradeoffs are no longer acceptable. Customers will ...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is rapidly in the process of breaking from its heretofore relatively obscure enterprise applications (such as plant floor control and supply chain management) and going mainstream into the consumer space. More and more creative folks are interconnecting everyday products such as household items, mobile devices, appliances and cars, and unleashing new and imaginative scenarios. We are seeing a lot of excitement around applications in home automation, personal fitness,...
Data-intensive companies that strive to gain insights from data using Big Data analytics tools can gain tremendous competitive advantage by deploying data-centric storage. Organizations generate large volumes of data, the vast majority of which is unstructured. As the volume and velocity of this unstructured data increases, the costs, risks and usability challenges associated with managing the unstructured data (regardless of file type, size or device) increases simultaneously, including end-to-...
Sensor-enabled things are becoming more commonplace, precursors to a larger and more complex framework that most consider the ultimate promise of the IoT: things connecting, interacting, sharing, storing, and over time perhaps learning and predicting based on habits, behaviors, location, preferences, purchases and more. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tom Wesselman, Director of Communications Ecosystem Architecture at Plantronics, will examine the still nascent IoT as it is coalescing, includin...
Red Hat has launched the Red Hat Cloud Innovation Practice, a new global team of experts that will assist companies with more quickly on-ramping to the cloud. They will do this by providing solutions and services such as validated designs with reference architectures and agile methodology consulting, training, and support. The Red Hat Cloud Innovation Practice is born out of the integration of technology and engineering expertise gained through the company’s 2014 acquisitions of leading Ceph s...
The excitement around the possibilities enabled by Big Data is being tempered by the daunting task of feeding the analytics engines with high quality data on a continuous basis. As the once distinct fields of data integration and data management increasingly converge, cloud-based data solutions providers have emerged that can buffer your organization from the complexities of this continuous data cleansing and management so that you’re free to focus on the end goal: actionable insight.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is causing data centers to become radically decentralized and atomized within a new paradigm known as “fog computing.” To support IoT applications, such as connected cars and smart grids, data centers' core functions will be decentralized out to the network's edges and endpoints (aka “fogs”). As this trend takes hold, Big Data analytics platforms will focus on high-volume log analysis (aka “logs”) and rely heavily on cognitive-computing algorithms (aka “cogs”) to mak...
With several hundred implementations of IoT-enabled solutions in the past 12 months alone, this session will focus on experience over the art of the possible. Many can only imagine the most advanced telematics platform ever deployed, supporting millions of customers, producing tens of thousands events or GBs per trip, and hundreds of TBs per month. With the ability to support a billion sensor events per second, over 30PB of warm data for analytics, and hundreds of PBs for an data analytics arc...
Operational Hadoop and the Lambda Architecture for Streaming Data Apache Hadoop is emerging as a distributed platform for handling large and fast incoming streams of data. Predictive maintenance, supply chain optimization, and Internet-of-Things analysis are examples where Hadoop provides the scalable storage, processing, and analytics platform to gain meaningful insights from granular data that is typically only valuable from a large-scale, aggregate view. One architecture useful for capturing...
When it comes to the Internet of Things, hooking up will get you only so far. If you want customers to commit, you need to go beyond simply connecting products. You need to use the devices themselves to transform how you engage with every customer and how you manage the entire product lifecycle. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sean Lorenz, Technical Product Manager for Xively at LogMeIn, will show how “product relationship management” can help you leverage your connected devices and the data th...
In the consumer IoT, everything is new, and the IT world of bits and bytes holds sway. But industrial and commercial realms encompass operational technology (OT) that has been around for 25 or 50 years. This grittier, pre-IP, more hands-on world has much to gain from Industrial IoT (IIoT) applications and principles. But adding sensors and wireless connectivity won’t work in environments that demand unwavering reliability and performance. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ron Sege, CEO of Echelon...
The free version of KEMP Technologies' LoadMaster™ application load balancer is now available for unlimited use, making it easy for IT developers and open source technology users to benefit from all the features of a full commercial-grade product at no cost. It can be downloaded at FreeLoadBalancer.com. Load balancing, security and traffic optimization are all key enablers for application performance and functionality. Without these, application services will not perform as expected or have the...
The speed of product development has increased massively in the past 10 years. At the same time our formal secure development and SDL methodologies have fallen behind. This forces product developers to choose between rapid release times and security. In his session at DevOps Summit, Michael Murray, Director of Cyber Security Consulting and Assessment at GE Healthcare, examined the problems and presented some solutions for moving security into the DevOps lifecycle to ensure that we get fast AND ...
One of the biggest impacts of the Internet of Things is and will continue to be on data; specifically data volume, management and usage. Companies are scrambling to adapt to this new and unpredictable data reality with legacy infrastructure that cannot handle the speed and volume of data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and president of Infobright, will discuss how companies need to rethink their data infrastructure to participate in the IoT, including: Data storage: Understand...