NLMK La Louvière launches a 150 million euro hot strip mill upgrade to produce premium steel

11 October 2019

NLMK La Louvière, one of the leading producers of flat steel coils in Belgium and a company of NLMK Group, has embarked on a 150 million euro project to revamp its hot strip mill, expanding production of thinner, stronger and more environmentally friendly steel.

The investment is a part of the NLMK Group Strategy 2022. With this upgrade NLMK La Louvière will increase production from 1,7 mt to 2,2 mt by 2022 with a bigger share of the niche HRC market in the EU.

The extensive upgrade includes installation of the state-of-the art automation system, three new and three upgraded roll mill stands, new drives and motors as well as new run-out table, modernized cooling and water systems.

The project will enable the mill to expand production of high strength thin hot rolled coil (down to 1.2 mm), increase the range of high-strength products beyond 1000 MPa yield strength and provide customers with best-in-class surface and dimensional tolerances.

The first phase of the mill transformation is scheduled for early 2020, for completion in 2021. The contract has been awarded to Primetals Technologies, a leading supplier of solutions for the metals industry. The company has finalized basic engineering and launched production of the equipment.

Ben de Vos, CEO of NLMK International, said:

“This project helps achieve one of the key targets of NLMK Group’s Strategy 2022: to increase value added sales by 1.7 million tonnes globally. The increase is set to be delivered through the expansion of product mix and tolerances and following the evolving demands of our customers who continuously look for lighter, higher strength steels. This groundbreaking project is the biggest investment in our La Louvière site and its customers in the last decades and will be a cornerstone of its further development.”

About NLMK La Louvière

Located in Belgium, NLMK La Louvière focuses on the production of hot- and cold-rolled coils for the automotive, construction, and engineering industries. The site production capacity will be enhanced to 2,200,000 tonnes of hot-rolled steel and 1,500,000 tonnes of pickled steel. NLMK La Louvière is continuously expanding its range of products and steel grades of cold forming & deep drawing, structural and pipe steels, quenchable boron & high carbon steels, dual phase, ferro-bainitic steels and other advanced steel grades.

About NLMK Belgium Holdings S.A. (NBH)

NBH comprises the production companies and service centres of the NLMK Europe Strip Division (NLMK La Louvière, NLMK Strasbourg,  NLMK Manage Steel Center), and two NLMK Europe Plate production companies (NLMK Verona and NLMK Clabecq). NLMK Group and SOGEPA own a 49% stake of NBH each. Remaining 2% belong to THN, an NBH-affiliated company.

About NLMK Group

NLMK Group is the largest steelmaker in Russia and one of the most efficient in the world.

NLMK Group’s steel products are used in various industries, from construction and machine building to the manufacturing of power-generation equipment and offshore wind turbines.

NLMK operates production facilities in Russia, Europe and the United States. The Company’s steel production capacity exceeds 17 million tonnes per year.

NLMK has the most competitive cash cost among global manufacturers and one of the highest profitability levels in the industry. In 12M 2018, the Company generated $12 billion in revenue and $3.6 billion in EBITDA. Net Debt/EBITDA stood at 0.25x. The Company has investment grade credit ratings from S&P, Moody’s, Fitch and Expert RA.

NLMK’s ordinary shares with a 19% free-float are traded on the Moscow Stock Exchange (ticker "NLMK") and its global depositary shares are traded on the London Stock Exchange (ticker "NLMK"). The share capital of the Company is divided into 5,993,227,240 shares with a par value of RUB1.

For more details on NLMK shareholder capital please follow the link.

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SOGEPA is a Belgian investment fund established in 1984 to support economic development of the Walloon region. SOGEPA contributes to creation of sustainable businesses by investing in industrial projects and assets. The fund adheres to the best private investment practices, playing an active role in the strategic management of companies at the level of board of directors.

Alongside private investors, SOGEPA is also a trusted partner of Walloon-based companies undergoing reorganization and in general enterprises active in the industrial sector.