Growing demand in North America for automotive high-strength steel sheet has prompted the development of a third continuous galvanising line in Leipsec, Ohio, home of PRO-TEC Coating Company, a long-established joint venture between Japanese steelmaker Kobe Steel and the United States Steel Corporation (US Steel).
The US$400 million new line will have a production capacity of 500kt/yr and will service the buoyant North American automotive market, the second largest market in the world, says to Kobe Steel.
The main product to be produced at the plant will be hot-dipped galvanised ultra high-strength steel.
According to Kobe Steel, high strength steel for automotive use needs to be strong and have high formability.
The new line, which is scheduled for start-up in 2019, will be equipped with ‘cutting edge heating and quenching capabilities’, according to Kobe Steel.
PRO-TEC is described by Kobe as ‘an equal partnership joint venture that started life way back in 1993. It has a total production capacity of 1.5Mt (short tons) and is one of the largest facilities of its kind in the USA. The company supplies mainly Japanese automakers based in the USA and the so-called ‘Detroit Three’ manufacturers.