London, 3 June 2015 – At the occasion of the ArcelorMittal Automotive Investor Relations event, Brian Aranha, CMO Automotive Worldwide, announced that ArcelorMittal has decided to increase its production capacity for aluminium-silicon coated Usibor® hot stamping steel in Southern Europe. By adapting the hot dip galvanizing line of its Sagunto plant in Spain, ArcelorMittal will meet the growing demand for innovative coatings for the automotive industry and better serve the Southern European automotive market by producing aluminium-silicon (Alusi) coated Usibor® locally.
The 9 million euro investment consists in modifying the galvanizing line, adapting the snout for this new product and adding a second coating pot together with implementing several other coating line adjustments. The project will start during the summer of 2015 with the first production and client product approvals expected by the fourth quarter. Production ramp-up is expected to continue during 2016.
To meet EU regulations for CO2 emissions as well as for passenger safety during crash events, carmakers need to further reduce the weight of structural car parts without compromising passengers’ safety – at the most affordable cost. “This leads to a strong market demand for Press Hardenable Steels (PHS), in particular for our patented Usibor® boron steel coated with Alusi – especially in a car’s structural parts,” comments Brian Aranha.
ArcelorMittal Sagunto, located in the region of Valencia in Southern Spain, already supplies the automotive industry with both hot dip galvanized and electrogalvanized products, including advanced high strength steels (AHSS). After Mouzon and Florange in France and Dudelange in Luxembourg, Sagunto will be fourth plant in Europe to produce Usibor® Alusi and the second plant to produce large-width Usibor®. “This strategic investment for ArcelorMittal Sagunto reinforces the competitive position of the site and will contribute to further enhance the service we provide to the automotive sector in Southern Europe and our ability to meet the growing demand in this market”, said José Manuel Arias, ArcelorMittal’s Country Head for Spain.
Pablo Avello, ArcelorMittal Sagunto site manager, highlighted that “this important investment enables Sagunto to expand its range of high-quality products. It will give the site a privileged position in the market compared to its competitors, as we will be able to supply our customers, and in particular the carmakers, with the innovative and sustainable AHSS products they need.”
ArcelorMittal Sagunto is a flat steel finishing plant located in the Spanish Eastern Mediterranean area, 30 km north of Valencia. ArcelorMittal Sagunto has an annual production capacity of 2 million tonnes of cold rolled and coated steel. The facilities comprise a cold rolling mill, an electrogalvanising line and a hot dip galvanizing line.
Usibor® is a pre-coated (aluminium-silicon coating) boron steel grade for hot stamping. It possesses a very high mechanical strength after hot stamping and is part of the range of products developed to meet vehicle weight reduction and safety requirements. Usibor® is intended for use in a car’s structural and safety components. Since many years, the demand for Usibor® hot stamping steel has shown a spectacular growth. Usibor® now accounts for above 25% of body-in-white in the most advanced vehicles. Thanks to the laser ablation process, Usibor® Alusi is also suitable for laser welding.