After more than two years of planning, in September 2017 the final location decision was taken during the Supervisory Board meeting of voestalpine AG: the most advanced special steel plant in the world, representing an investment of EUR 330 to 350 million and designed to supply the most demanding customer segments, will be erected in Kapfenberg, Austria, where it will replace the existing plant from 2021. Securing around 3,000 jobs in Styria, this major investment by the High Performance Metals Division of the voestalpine Group marks a technological milestone in the manufacture of pioneering high-performance steels for the international aerospace, automotive, and oil & gas industries.
The official ground-breaking ceremony took place in April 2018. After a three-year construction period, the new high-tech plant is expected to go into operation in 2021, replacing the current stainless steel plant of voestalpine Böhler Edelstahl in Kapfenberg.
The ultra-modern plant will set international standards for digitized production processes. Around 8,000 process data are to be continuously recorded and processed or evaluated in parallel.
The investment also sets new standards when it comes to environmental protection: The heart of the plant – an electric arc furnace that melts high-purity scrap in combination with various alloy metals to stainless steels – is run on electricity. In addition, an efficient recovery system ensures that the heat generated into the public district heating network. As far as the cooling of production plants is concerned, closed circuits can reduce the amount of cooling water required by up to 90 percent.
The voestalpine AG’s High Performance Metals Division is focused on producing and processing high-performance materials and customer-specific services including heat treatment, high-tech surface treatments, and additive manufacturing processes. Due to its unique sales and service network at about 160 sites around the world the division offers its customers material availability and processing as well as local points of contact. The division is the global market leader for tool steel and a leading provider of high-speed steel, valve steel, and other products made of special steels, as well as powder materials, nickel-based alloys, titanium and components based on additive manufacturing technologies. The most important customer segments are the automotive, oil and natural gas exploration, and mechanical engineering industries as well as the consumer goods and aerospace industries. In the business year 2017/18, the division reported revenue of around EUR 2,9 billion, of which about 50% was generated outside Europe, and an operating result (EBITDA) of EUR 454 million; it has around 14,300 employees worldwide.
In its business segments, voestalpine is a globally leading technology and capital goods group with a unique combination of material and processing expertise. voestalpine, which operates globally, has around 500 Group companies and locations in more than 50 countries on all five continents. It has been listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange since 1995. With its top-quality products and system solutions using steel and other metals, it is one of the leading partners to the automotive and consumer goods industries in Europe as well as to the aerospace, oil and gas industries worldwide. The voestalpine Group is also the world market leader in turnout technology, special rails, tool steel, and special sections. In the business year 2017/18, the Group generated revenue of EUR 13 billion, with an operating result (EBITDA) of almost EUR 2 billion; it has around 51,600 employees worldwide.