One of our most exciting joint ventures to date is AM/NS Calvert. In February 2014, we acquired the world’s most modern steel finishing facility, in Calvert, Alabama, in partnership with Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metals Corporation (NSSMC). AM/NS Calvert is the largest newly-constructed steel processing plant the US has seen in more than 40 years. The plant 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.
But AM/NS Calvert is not the only landmark facility we’ve launched as a result of joint-venture collaboration. Our first greenfield joint-venture facility – Valin ArcelorMittal Automotive, or VAMA – opened, in China, in June 2014 and now serves the world’s fastest-growing automotive market. Expanding our downstream network is enabling us to meet demand in China for advanced high-strength steels (AHSS) and to leverage our technological knowhow.
However, we knew that we needed to look beyond Europe and the Americas to further expand our footprint in the emerging markets. To that end, this May we signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) to study the feasibility of creating a joint venture to construct an automotive steel production facility in one of the major auto clusters in India.
Forecast to become the fourth largest in the world by 2020, India’s automotive market was a natural next step in executing global automotive strategy, and we intend to bring together our technical leadership, expertise, and customer relationships with SAIL’s local expertise and production scale.
We are also able to better serve our customers through ArcelorMittal Tailored Blanks, which has an extensive network of sites throughout the world. A tailored blank is a sheet of steel that combines several grades and/or thicknesses and/or different coatings in one piece. The different parts are laser welded together, in order to place the best material in the best position for a real “tailor-made” solution for our customers after stamping. Through these blanks strength is concentrated where it is most needed for crash resistance and overall material thickness is reduced, decreasing weight and emissions. Meanwhile, manufacturing, material and transport costs are also all reduced.
We currently have 21 Tailored Blanks sites globally serving automotive markets in North and South America, the Middle East, Europe and throughout Asia and Australia. We are continually growing this network and have a further four sites currently in development.