Ljubljana, Monday, 24 April 2017 – The SIJ Group's most important strategic investment of the year was launched at SIJ Acroni today: an AOD furnace costing EUR 30 million. With the new machine SIJ Acroni plans to increase its capacities for the production of stainless and special steels, reinforcing the company's position in niche steel markets.
The new AOD furnace was fired up at 11:15, successfully concluding the second multi-million investment of strategic importance in the last two years. Investing in a new AOD (argon oxygen decarburization) furnace to increase production capacities for stainless steel quarto plates and, consequently, special steels is an important step towards realizing the SIJ Group's Steel Division strategy by 2020.
On this occasion Slavko Kanalec, the Managing Director of SIJ Acroni, highlighted that the purpose of the new AOD furnace is to further reinforce the company's position in the stainless steel market, although SIJ Acroni has been Europe's leading manufacturer in the segment for some years now. "The AOD furnace, which was partly built with our own know-how, will speed up the production of stainless and special steels, while also improving the quality of our products. I am pleased that the owners are supporting development and investing in improvements, as this is the only long-term solution to ensure growth and reinforce our position on the demanding steel market," said Kanalec.
In addition to increasing the production capacities, the new furnace will speed up the production of stainless steels, thus freeing up additional capacities for other production programs. Roman Robič, the Technical Director of SIJ Acroni and manager of the investment project, is particularly proud of the rapid implementation: "After signing the investment contract in July 2015, it took us and our partners (Primetals Technologies and Esotech) less than two years to finish this highly demanding project. The investment will contribute significantly towards lowering the specific consumption of energy-generating products and reducing our environmental footprint."
Following last year's investment in a new HTL line (a line for the heat treatment of quarto plates), the production process at SIJ Acroni has now been optimized for speed as well as quality. With these improvements, SIJ Acroni and the SIJ Group continue to reinforce their positions in the European and world steel markets.
The SIJ Group is the largest vertically integrated Slovenian metallurgist group, and its products rank among the top market positions in the European and world niche steel markets. The Group has two main areas of business – the core business of metallurgy along with food (the Perutnina Ptuj Group) – with almost 50 affiliated companies in Europe, the USA and Asia and some 7200 employees. In 2016 the SIJ Group generated EUR 842.7 million in revenues, an EBITDA of EUR 127.1 million and a net profit of EUR 51.3 million.
Jože Špiljak, Corporate Communications Specialist, SIJ Acroni
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