Investment in high-tech and future
by Hans Diederichs
The new state-of-the-art hot-dip galvanizing line FBA10 at thyssenkrupp Steel’s Dortmund site is taking shape. Following approval by the district government in Arnsberg, the symbolic laying of the foundation stone took place today. Together with Armin Laschet, state premier of North Rhine-Westphalia, thyssenkrupp Steel thus prepared the way for the tenth line of its type in the Ruhr, scheduled to start operation in 2021.
Premium finishes and lasting corrosion protection in the auto sector
Demand from the automotive industry for hot-dip galvanized products is growing. The zinc coating on the steel provides excellent protection against corrosion and thus ensures the durability of vehicle components. “There is a substantial shift in the automotive industry from electrogalvanized to hot-dip galvanized steels,” said Premal Desai, CEO of thyssenkrupp Steel. “Our new hot-dip coating line will support this trend and exploit market potential. The line is a key element of our strategy to differentiate ourselves from the competition through high-tech products. So FBA10 is an important step in the successful and sustainable development of thyssenkrupp Steel.” FBA10 will produce steels for interior vehicle parts and outer panel applications as well as highly innovative zinc-magnesium products with low coating thicknesses that save material and costs while ensuring high durability.
Dortmund as a center for hot-dip galvanized products
Just a few meters from the site of the new FBA10, thyssenkrupp has been operating another hot-dip coating line – FBA8 – since 2001. In the future, a total of one million tons of hot-dip galvanized products will roll off the two state-of-the-art lines. This will further boost the standing of Dortmund and the Ruhr region as a center of excellence for this technology.
State premier Armin Laschet: “The new hot-dip galvanizing line is a perfect example of how steel stands for innovation and advanced technologies. Today clearly shows that steel and thyssenkrupp have excellent prospects here in the Ruhr – a strong location that has always been willing to embrace change. The state government is helping shape this transformation through the Ruhr Conference to ensure this region develops into an economic powerhouse in the future.”
Laschet continued: “As an industrial state, North Rhine-Westphalia is seeking to drive innovation, for example with the climate-neutral production of steel. We aim to show that successful climate protection and a strong business location can go hand in hand, and that we can provide convincing and sustainable answers to the challenges posed by the transition to renewable energies and climate change.”
Ullrich Sierau, Mayor of Dortmund: “Although the Westfalenhütte site has become a job engine for the logistics sector, it is also the traditional home of steel coating and we have always reserved areas for this. I am delighted that this new investment will now help secure the future of the Westfalenhütte steel site. The construction of the new hot-dip coating line is a forward-looking step in the best steel tradition and will make the Westfalenhütte an important center of excellence for hot-dip galvanized products. These high-quality coatings and the creation of more than 100 skilled jobs are an ideal fit with Dortmund’s character as a technology-oriented city which is successfully managing a structural transformation.”
Hans-Josef Vogel, President of the Arnsberg district government: “This is a clear exam-ple of how forward-looking technologies are supporting structural change, backed by the longstanding experience of the Dortmund steel site. For the structural transformation to succeed, companies must show confidence in the region – and that is exactly what thyssenkrupp Steel is doing with this investment. Steel fabricators throughout South Westphalia will benefit.” He thanked the company for its good cooperation, which had allowed the approval processes to be completed smoothly.
Investment creates jobs
This investment in the low three-digit million range will strengthen thyssenkrupp Steel’s Dortmund site, which currently employs some 1,300 people. FBA10 will create more than 100 new jobs. “FBA10 is an investment in the site and an important signal to the workforce: thyssenkrupp Steel is investing in the future and in new, highly skilled jobs. Lines like FBA10 are built to last decades, and that’s exactly the right signal to be sending in turbulent times," said Tekin Nasikkol, Chairman of the General Works Council of thyssenkrupp Steel.
Source and photo: tk Steel