Gerdau inaugurates the most modern rebar mill in Brazil

With an investment of US$ 230 million, Gerdau São Paulo has a production capacity of up to 900 thousand metric tons of steel per year

The Gerdau Group is inaugurating today, in Araçariguama (SP), the most modern rebar mill in Brazil, Gerdau São Paulo. With an investment of US$ 230 million, the mill has a production capacity of up to 900 thousand metric tons of steel per year. In the second semester of 2006, the Gerdau São Paulo rolling mill will start operating with an installed annual capacity of 600 thousand metric tons of rebar. This is the 30th steel mill of the Gerdau Group in the Americas. Gerdau São Paulo was designed to produce more steel in a smaller area. Production per square meter is up to 2.5 times greater than that of a traditional mill. This is due to the fact that the area of stocking in Gerdau São Paulo is very small, since it is close to the consumer market, and the melt shop is fully integrated with the rolling mill, which is not the case at other steel mills. The electric arc furnace used at the Gerdau São Paulo melt shop – the stage in which the steel is produced from scrap – is the most modern in Brazil and one of the most up-to-date in the world. The equipment features a high energetic efficiency, being able to save up to 10% more energy than the best international models. Moreover, the unit’s rolling mill is 15% more productive than a conventional one. The rolling phase, in which the steel is transformed into rebar, will take place at a speed of 120 kilometers per hour. It is an in-line process, that is, the steel is transformed into rebar and packed for the consumer automatically. Gerdau São Paulo also features a Mega Shredder, with an annual capacity of processing 600 thousand metric tons of steel scrap, main raw material for producing steel. This volume corresponds to 750 thousand vehicles per year. There are only four similar facilities in the world. The steel mill has an electric substation with an installed capacity of 140 megawatts, capable of supplying power for a city of approximately 400 thousand inhabitants. There is a power transmission line that goes through Gerdau’s property, which contributed to the construction of the substation. The logistics at the mill, located by the Castelo Branco highway, close to the Rodoanel ring road – that interconnects the main highways in São Paulo – makes transporting products to the consumer easier, as well as receiving the raw materials. Gerdau São Paulo will be selling to all the State, largest consumer of civil construction products in Brazil, accounting for 40% of the national demand for rebar. Being close by, the mill will also supply to the North of Paraná and to the Central-Western region. These regions and São Paulo have an annual consumption of 1.4 million metric tons of rebar. The unit will also serve Tocantins, Acre and Rondônia, which are going through a development process. The inauguration of Gerdau São Paulo takes place at a moment of positive expectations for the sector due to the package of incentives for housing that has been announced by the Federal Government. Some construction materials have been exempted from the Manufactured Products Tax (IPI), and others have had a reduction in the rate. The government is also increasing the volume of resources to finance housing. Gerdau São Paulo will create 500 direct jobs, and 2.5 thousand indirect ones. Currently, construction work at the rolling mill involves over one thousand workers.
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