Our investment in ArcelorMittal Vega do Sul confirms our commitment to Brazil as a key market for the automotive industry. By locally producing Usibor® we help carmakers in Brazil and beyond to address their primary technological and geographical challenges. This includes ensuring our pioneering lightweight products are available globally. But it also includes continuously working on next-generation steels to make cars lighter and more fuel-efficient – at an affordable cost, and without compromising safety.
Looking at Europe, our €9 million investment in ArcelorMittal Sagunto will enable the production of aluminium-silicon coated Usibor® Alusi and increase group capacity by adapting the hot dip galvanizing line in order to better serve the Southern European automotive market. The project will allow us to meet growing demand for innovative coatings required by the Southern European automotive market.
Another example in Europe on how we are serving our customers with innovative steel products and solutions through our network is our investment in ArcelorMittal Gent. Our Gent facility is undergoing a €140 million transformation to enable the mill to produceFortiform®, a new range of advanced high strength steels (AHSS) for cold forming.
Our acquisition in February 2014 of AM/NS Calvert in partnership with Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metals Corporation (NSSMC) is well-positioned to supply the growing demand in south-eastern USA and Mexico, providing steel grades that meet the 2025 safety and fuel economy targets. The site is on track to reach full capacity optimisation by 2016-2017. In Q1 2015 the investment in the existing no.4 continuous coating line was completed, which increases our North American capacity to produce press hardenable steels, one of the strongest steels used in automotive applications, Usibor®. AM/NS Calvert will also be capable of producing Ductibor®, an energy-absorbing high strength steel grade designed specifically to complement Usibor® and offer ductility benefits to customers. Another project at AM/NS Calvert is expected to be completed in 2H 2016, which is the slab yard expansion to increase Calvert’s slab staging capacity and efficiency.
In addition to investing in our existing assets, we have also been expanding our footprint, most notably in China, where we have opened a state-of-the-art automotive steel focussed production facility called VAMA, in joint venture with Valin Steel, and potentially in India, where we have signed a MoU with SAIL to explore the potential of developing an automotive steel presence. I will expand on these subjects in my next blog in this series.