Four years after its groundbreaking ceremony, the special steel plant at voestalpine’s site in Kapfenberg, Austria, is now complete. The facility – intended to annually produce 205,000 tons of special steel, some of which will be metal powder for AM – is said to represent a technical milestone for the voestalpine Group’s High Performance Metals Division in terms of digitalisation and sustainability.
The plant replaces the existing voestalpine Böhler Edelstahl GmbH & Co KG plant in Kapfenberg, and is in addition to its traditional steel products, will produce metal powders for Additive Manufacturing. The first facilities are already undergoing testing.
The project progressed throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, although delays in the delivery of key equipment led to project completion being pushed back by over a year. At the same time, voestalpine calculates that due to the difficult framework conditions, costs are expected to rise by around 10% to 20% over the initial planned investment of €350 million.
“As the plant starts operating in fall 2022, initially with intermittent parallel operations using the existing electric steel mill, we can supply our customers with even better material qualities to further expand our global market leadership in tool and special steels,” stated Franz Rotter, member of the Management Board of voestalpine AG and Head of the High Performance Metals Division. “Our heartfelt thanks go to our dedicated employees at the site whose flexibility and extensive expertise will make this successful start-up possible.”
“The new special steel plant will set new global benchmarks in sustainability and energy efficiency,” added Rotter. “This makes this investment an integral part of our overall sustainability strategy.”