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Metal Miner

Metal Miner

MetalMiner is the largest metals-related media site in the US according to third party ranking sites. With a preemptive global perspective on the issues, trends,…

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Indian Steelmaker Plans to Build Europe's Most Advanced Rail Mill

  • The investment will modernize the Piombino facility's rail mill, installing new technology and extending rail lengths, enhancing efficiency.
  • JSW Steel's commitment in Italy signifies its contribution to the local economy, promising to reduce imports and safeguard jobs.
  • This move is part of JSW Steel's broader global expansion strategy, including significant investments in India and ventures into sustainable manufacturing like electric vehicles and batteries.
Steel

Via Metal Miner

 

One of India’s fastest-growing steel companies JSW Steel, recently announced the next step in its growth plan. In a major steel news event, JSW Steel Italy SRL inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Italian government to re-start production operations at the Piombino plant via a €140 million investment.

According to JSW Steel, the initiative entails a doubling of the Piombino facility’s current rail-making capacity to 6 lakh tons per annum. Analysts anticipate that this strategic move will reduce imports and foster local employment opportunities. Specifically, the investment infusion remains earmarked for enhancing the efficiency and modernization of the rail mill. Currently, planned activities include setting up a tandem mill, installing a head hardening facility, and increasing the length of rails from 108 to 120 meters.

Many envisage the MoU as not only helping to reignite steel production but also safeguarding existing employment opportunities and mitigating the influx of steel imports into Italy. Under its provisions, the firm designated a collaborative period of four months for the execution of the program agreement.

Steel News Highlights JSW’s Journey in Europe

Steel news reports indicated that JSW Group Chairman Sajjan Jindal as saying that the steel industry in Italy is in a transformative stage. Moreover, the MoU for renewal underlines his company’s commitment to partner with the Italian government’s effort in the growth and economic development of the region. Experts believe this renewed effort will establish the Piombino rail mill as the most modern and technologically advanced rail mill in Europe. The move will also speed up domestic steel production, making Italy less reliant on steel product imports.

Related: 2 Companies That Could Help Europe Win Its Energy War With Russia

JSW Steel first came to Italy looking for business sometime in 2018. Soon after, it announced the takeover of Aferpi S.p.A, Piombino Logistics S.p.A and GSI Lucchini S.p.A for 55 million euros. Aferpi specializes in producing specialized long steel items like rails, wire rods, and bars. At that time, the company had an impressive annual capacity, with a rail mill capable of producing 0.32 million tons.

Moreover, its bar mill had a production capacity of 0.4 million tons alongside a wire rod capacity of 0.6 million tons. Piombino Logistics, which was primarily responsible for overseeing the infrastructure within Piombino’s port area, also manages a 42-kilometer rail line within the plant premises.

Geo-Political Woes Led to Unforeseen Business Challenges

Many expected the Group to make its presence in Italy and, thereby, European specialty long steel products. But somewhere in the intervening years, things did not pan out the way JSW Steel envisaged. Sometime later, steel news media reports indicated that the Indian firm planned to put its Italian businesses on the block due to geo-political problems and the rising cost of raw materials.

Related: Europe’s Secret Weapon In Its Energy War With Russia

Nonetheless, JSW Steel underwent a remarkable evolution over three decades, transitioning from a solitary manufacturing entity to a prominent integrated steel enterprise operating in India and the United States. Altogether, the firm’s holdings boast a combined capacity of 29.7 MTPA. 

JSW Steel Shows Bullish Strength

Embarking on its next expansion phase within India, JSW Steel seems poised to augment its total capacity to 38.5 MTPA by fiscal year 2025. The company recently announced that it would invest in a multi-million-dollar integrated steel manufacturing complex comprising a steel plant with 13.2 MTPA capacity in Odisha, in eastern India.

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Notably, JSW Steel recently solidified a 50:50 joint venture with JFE Steel Corporation of Japan to produce grain-oriented electrical steel in Karnataka. In a separate development, the JSW Group unveiled plans to invest millions into a comprehensive electric vehicle and EV battery manufacturing venture in Odisha. Currently, the company expects the ambitious project to generate over 11,000 employment opportunities.

By Sohrab Darabshaw

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