Gerdau completes 20 years of experience in the special steel sector with new investments
Today Gerdau is one of the leading suppliers of special steel in the world
Gerdau has just completed 20 years of experience in the special steel business. The Company's history began in the sector with the acquisition of the Piratini mill in Charqueadas, Rio Grande do Sul, in 1992. In the last two decades the Company has invested more than US$ 4 billion to acquire assets in Brazil, the United States, Spain, and India and in technological upgrading of its operations in this segment.
Special steels have specific physical and metallurgical characteristics for applications in various industries such as automotive, agricultural, energy, shipbuilding, mining, aluminum, and oil. Today Gerdau is one of the leading producers of special steels in the world and the world's largest supplier of special long steel for the automotive industry.
To offer innovative solutions in special steels of superior quality for its customers, Gerdau has research and development centers in special steels in Brazil (SP and RS), in the United States, and Spain, which is where a pioneering project in nanotechnology applied to the special steel manufacturing process is taking place, the purpose of which is to supply the automotive industry with even greater competitiveness.
Moreover, Gerdau also conducts seminars and training courses in several countries where it operates for improving the qualification of its customers. Throughout 2011, for example, it developed the program "The World of Special Steels" that sought to enhance the technical knowledge of our customers on applications and specifications of products in this segment. Among the topics discussed during the lectures was the processes of manufacturing, shaping, and heat treatments of engineering steel, the mechanical properties obtained, as well as the applications and selection of products. The theoretical content was complemented with the technical visits of the participants to Gerdau's special steel plants in Brazil.
Gerdau has over the years expanded its activities in the specialty steel business, always striving for excellence of its products and services. That is why it is continually investing in the technological upgrading of its industrial units. A program is underway in the United States to expand the mill in Monroe (Michigan), which should be completed by the second half of 2013. The initiative includes the installation of a new continuous casting system as well as a new reheating furnace of the walking beam type and four rolling stands. Gerdau's other special steel mills in the United States located in Fort Smith (Arkansas), Jackson (Michigan), and St. Paul (Minnesota) will also receive investments to better serve customers of the automotive and industrial sector.
Furthermore, in order to meet the demand from automakers in Brazil and to keep up with the expansion of the automotive and energy sector in the U.S., the Company will make further investments in its Brazilian and American units. In Brazil, an expansion of the Pindamonhangaba (SP) mill is scheduled with the installation of a new special steel rolling mill along with a new continuous casting and a new reheating furnace for rolling. With this the annual installed capacity of the mill will grow from its current 700,000 metric tons of rolled products to 1.2 million metric tons. In the Mogi das Cruzes (SP) mill, the rolling capacity will be increased from 216,000 metric tons to 276,000 metric tons per year. Both investments should start up operations by the end of 2012.
Gerdau will start up operations of a rolling mill for special steel in 2012 in India with an installed capacity of 300,000 metric tons and a sintering unit, besides continuing with the installation of a coke plant and carrying out projects in the area of power generation.
Gerdau is the leader in the segment of long steel in the Americas and one of the main producers of special long steel in the world. With over 45,000 employees, it has industrial operations in 14 countries—in the Americas, Europe, and Asia—which together represent an installed capacity of over 25 million metric tons of steel per year. It is the largest scrap recycler in Latin America and worldwide transforms millions of metric tons of this raw material into new steel products each year. Gerdau is listed on the stock exchanges of São Paulo, New York, and Madrid and has over 140,000 shareholders.