Major investment in quenched steels
The Board of Directors of SSAB today approved capital expenditures of a further approx. SEK 900 million at SSAB Oxelösund. Most of the capital expenditures, almost SEK 700 million, will be invested in continued expansion of quenched steel capacity. The investment package includes, among other things, a new line for thicker dimensions and plant for finishing and heat treatment. -This investment represents yet another stage in SSAB’s niche strategy. We are further strengthening our position within the quenched steels area and SSAB Oxelösund will, after this stage has been implemented, thereby be focused entirely on our niche products, says Olof Faxander, SSAB’s new CEO. -The focus on quenched steels, i.e. abrasion-resistant and extreme high-strength construction steels, has been extremely successful and seen strong growth. Today, we are already a global market leader within this niche. Through these substantial investments, we will further strengthen our position and create conditions for continued development of our core business, on all markets, says Bengt Nilsson, President of SSAB Oxelösund. The full impact of the new plants is expected to be felt in 2009. In addition to the investments in Oxelösund, almost SEK 100 million are to be invested in a sheet centre in China. -The rapid development of infrastructure in China is one of the strongest forces propelling the market development we have witnessed in recent years. With the investment in China, we are taking a major step as regards our presence on this important market, continues Bengt Nilsson. In addition to the investments in quenched steels, SEK 100 million are being invested in a new slag granulation plant, which will render possible operation of the two blast furnaces in Oxelösund without a holiday break. This measure will lead to a reduction in operating costs as well as reduced impact on the environment in the form of emissions of particulates and gases in connection with the summer break. The production of heavy plate in Oxelösund started in 1961, focusing on plate for the shipbuilding industry. Since the crisis in the shipbuilding industry at the end of the 1970s, Oxelösund has undergone a transformation from being a producer of bulk products for a domestic market to a global niche player with products such as HARDOX and WELDOX in its range.