Austrian firm to build Europe’s first new steel plant in 40 years

Posted on 8 May 2018 by Jonny Williamson

Construction has started on the first new specialised steel plant in 40 years at a site in Austria, with the fully-digitalised plant expected to produce more than 200,000 tons of high-performance steels every year.

The steel plant could secure more than 3,000 highly skilled jobs in the region – image courtesy of voestalpine.

From 2021 onwards, each year the fully digitalised plant will produce around 205,000 tons of sophisticated high-performance steels.

The steel will be produced especially for the international aviation and automotive industries as well as for the oil & gas sector.

At the same time, the steel plant could secure more than 3,000 highly skilled jobs in the region over the long term, as reported by technology and capital goods group voestalpine.

Preparations for the major project with an investment volume of up to €350m are already fully underway: the construction site is currently being prepared, with work focusing on energy supply and logistics infrastructure.

The new high-tech special steel plant which is intended to replace the existing voestalpine Böhler Edelstahl plant in Kapfenberg and designed to produce premium quality pre-materials for aircraft components, tools for the automotive industry, equipment for oil & gas extraction, and for the 3D printing of highly complex metal parts.

All in, the production value resulting from the project amounts to a total of around €575m. The project reportedly indirectly secures 3,500 jobs in Austria during the construction phase, more than half of them in Styria.

The investment is also setting new standards in environmental protection: the centrepiece of the plant—an electric arc furnace which melts down ultra-pure scrap combined with various alloy metals into special steels—will operate using only electricity generated from renewables.

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