Voestalpine CAPEX Slowed Down on COVID19 & Supplier Delays
Austrian steel maker voestalpine announced that the volume of investments in the business year 2020/21 was EUR 612 million, 21.2% lower than the
Austrian steel maker voestalpine announced that the volume of investments in the business year 2020/21 was EUR 612 million, 21.2% lower than the previous business year’s expenditure of EUR 777 million but voestalpine initiated or pursued important projects nonetheless.
A major cutting-edge project named “BETA 3” that involves a new pickling line was launched at facilities in Linz in Austria. The new “CC4” continuous casting plant, which represents the new core of steel production in Donawitz in Austria, was successfully started up. Both the challenges arising from COVID-19 and delays in deliveries from component suppliers slowed down construction at the world’s most advanced special steel plant in Kapfenberg in Austria. voestalpine expects the plant’s construction costs to rise by between 10% and 20% compared with the EUR 350 million investment plans. The project is once again proceeding apace, individual steps such as the cold start-up will be accomplished in calendar year 2021, and the start-up of full operations is slated for the middle of 2022.
Decarbonizing steel production poses a major technological challenge for the entire European steel industry but voestalpine’s “greentec steel” program clearly charts the way forward. Assuming that there will be sufficient electricity from renewable energy at economical prices, in a first step the shift from coal-based blast furnace production to electric arc technology is expected to bring about a roughly 30% reduction in CO2 by the year 2030. The Group plans to achieve climate-neutral steel production by the year 2050 using green electricity and green hydrogen.
voestalpine has developed a scalable process that supports CO2-neutral steelmaking without a fossil fuel such as coal and has obtained a patent from the European Patent Office for it. Specifically, this patent comprises the production of hot briquetted iron in a direct reduction process by way of green hydrogen and biogas. The Group will grant production licenses for the climate-neutral pre-material.