On October 26, 2016, the Steel Division opened the world’s largest and most modern direct reduction plant in Corpus Christi, Texas. The start-up phase has so far proceeded as planned (capacity utilization during start-up phase to date: 63%) and should transition to normal operation in the fourth quarter of the 2016/17 business year. The major repairs scheduled for blast furnace 6 at the Linz, Austria, site were able to be successfully completed on November 21, in fact, earlier than originally planned. With the “toughcore” plant developed in-house to manufacture heavy plate with completely new product properties and the continuous casting facility 8 currently under construction (start-up of operations is scheduled for fall 2017), both at the Linz site, technological expansion in the Steel Division is being consistently driven forward.
The Special Steel Division concentrated its investment activities on the accelerated expansion of its global service and sales network as well as the further development of coating technology. With the opening of a center for additive manufacturing of components (3D printing) in Düsseldorf, Germany, the division has taken yet another step for the advancement of future-oriented technologies. The Metal Engineering Division focused on starting up the new wire rod mill in Donawitz, Austria, which began operations at the beginning of the business year. The customers’ required registration processes were successfully completed in the course of the year. With the start-up of the plant for direct hot forming galvanized steel (“phs directform®”) at the location in Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany, a technological leap into the future was made in the Metal Forming Division in the second quarter of the business year. Aside from this, the global implementation of key technologies for automotive components was further advanced. With the start-up of the second plant for the production of laser-welded blanks, Linz has become a global leader in this technology segment.
In total, investments made by the voestalpine Group declined by 24.1% from EUR 936.7 million in the first three quarters of 2015/16 to EUR 711.4 million in the current reporting period. Of that amount, the Steel Division accounted for EUR 334.3 million, the Special Steel Division accounted for EUR 91.8 million, the Metal Engineering Division for EUR 137.0 million and, lastly, the Metal Forming Division accounted for EUR 142.8 million.
* This report is a translation of the original report in German, which is solely valid.