German engineering company ThyssenKrupp has laid the foundation stone for the €800m ($875.76m) construction and modernisation of its Duisburg Bruckhausen location in Germany.

This project involves the construction of a modern hot strip mill and slab storage yard along with the conversion and new construction of two continuous casters and two new walking beam furnaces.

According to the company, the investment will bolster its position in Europe while expanding its technology leadership.

It is part of the company’s Strategy 20-30 and is expected to generate long-term employment opportunities in the region.

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The company can now expand and improve the flexibility of its plants and equipment, as well as increase production capacities.

The casting rolling line was built nearly 25 years ago and can no longer meet the future quality requirements of customers.

Thus, it was necessary to convert the unit into a continuous caster and a downstream hot strip mill so that it could bring new scope for future expansion, adding further processing capacity at the Bochum site.

The company plans to convert the existing casting rolling line into a continuous caster with a downstream hot strip mill and to modernise it. Scheduled for completion by 2025, this process will increase both casting and rolling capacities and ultra-high-strength steel and premium surface production.

An existing continuous caster will also be replaced, bringing in metallurgical advantages. It is slated for construction in 2025 and will increase productivity and offer better surface quality.

thyssenkrupp is planning to build two new walking beam furnaces, which will be used for transporting the slabs through the furnaces. The downstream hot strip will produce steel with high surface quality material, as the slabs will be heated homogeneously to up to 1,250°C.

Besides the improvements, a fully automated slab storage yard will be built.

At the facility, an intelligent logistics control unit will be installed offering real-time synchronisation of around 1.7 million metric tonnes of slabs annually.

All conversions and construction are expected to be completed by the beginning of 2026, the company noted.

thyssenkrupp Steel chief operations officer Heike Denecke-Arnold said: “Our new and rebuilt facilities will enable us to optimally meet the changing needs of the market; e.g. the demand for lower tolerances, higher strength and optimised surfaces.

“This is also a strong signal to our customers, who will also benefit from the increased flexibility and availability of the new facilities.”

In September 2023, the company was reported to have conducted negotiations with Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky to sell a 50% interest in its steel business.

It started negotiating after unsuccessful plans to list, sell or find a potential merger partner.