Loudi, China, February 2021
Valin ArcelorMittal Automotive (‘VAMA’), a 50/50 joint venture between ArcelorMittal, the world’s leading steel company and Valin Steel, a leading Chinese steelmaker, announced an exciting expansion of its facilities in Loudi, Hunan, on Feburary 1st. Through the addition of a new innovative coating line which will enable the production of highly corrosion-resistant steel. The coating line, which will come onstream by July 2022, will increase VAMA’s capacity to produce high-quality, high-strength steels for the Chinese automotive industry by 450,000 tonnes a year, to 2 million tonnes.
The importance of this event was emphasized by the presence of the Hunan Leadership with Party Secretary Mr. Xu Dazhe and governor of Hunan Mr. Mao Weiming; the local Loudi government strongly supporting VAMA sent a delegation under the leadership of party secretary Mr. Liu Fei. The whole ceremony was attended as well by both shareholders: ArcelorMittal chairman & CEO Mr. Lakshmi Mittal, ArcelorMittal EVP Mr. Brian Aranha, ArcelorMittal EVP Mr. Bradley Davey, ArcelorMittal China CEO Mr. Sanjay Sharma, Valin Group Chairman Cao Zhiqiang, Valin Group CEO Mr Yi Zuo, Valin Lianyuan Party Secretary Mr. Xiao Zunhu and VAMA chairman Mr. Cheng Peixiang.
The new coating line will support VAMA’s ambition to become one of the largest suppliers to China’s automotive market. China is already the world’s largest automotive market, with forecasts indicating anticipated annual growth of at least 6% in the coming decade. Alongside the anticipated volume growth, the sector is also focused on further reducing its environmental footprint and transitioning to electric vehicles. VAMA’s expansion will feature the most recently developed high strength steel grades and a new type of coating, allowing car makers to reach new quality standards. The new type of coating has been designed to allow for better corrosion-resistance of both inner and outer panels in the body-in-white.
With these new products VAMA will also be positioned to support China’s automotive manufacturers transition to electric vehicles through the introduction of ArcelorMittal’s world leading S-in motion® steel solutions for electric vehicles, to implement the important announcement of General Secretary Xi Jinping on "achieve carbon summit and realize carbon neutralization", make great contributions to the implementation of Hunan’s “Constructing Three Hubs and Making Four-pronged Achievements” strategy.
Mr. Mittal said that in the past fifteen years, the two sides of the joint venture have made many achievements in capital investment, technology research and development, process transformation, etc. The start of the Phase II of VAMA means that the cooperation is once again taking off for a new journey. More than ever, VAMA will focus on sustainable development, quality and innovation, and make new contributions to the green and low-carbon development of China's automotive industry.
Mr. Cao Zhiqiang, Chairman and party secretary of Valin Steel, expressed his sincere appreciation on behalf of Valin Group to the leaders at all levels who have supported the growth of Valin and VAMA for a long time. He mentioned that this VAMA Phase II project aims at the world's cutting-edge technology of high-strength automotive sheet, to build a new continuous hot dip galvanizing line with 450 kt capacity per year, which is a major industrial project. Today, the project kicks off construction as planned, which is just in time.