Details of voestalpine special steel plant in Kapfenberg
Around half a year after announcing the location decision, groundbreaking ceremony marked the official start of the three-year construction phase for the new voestalpine special steel plant in Kapfenberg, Austria. From 2021 onwards, each year the fully digitalized plant will produce around 205,000 tons of sophisticated high-performance steels, especially for the international aviation and automotive industries as well as for the oil & gas sector, while at the same time securing more than 3,000 highly skilled jobs in the region over the long term. Preparations for the major project with an investment volume of up to EUR 350 million are already fully underway: the construction site is currently being prepared, with work focusing on energy supply and logistics infrastructure.
The new high-tech special steel plant which, once operative, is intended to replace the existing voestalpine Bohler Edelstahl GmbH & Co KG plant in Kapfenberg and designed to produce premium quality pre-materials for aircraft components, tools for the automotive industry, equipment for oil & gas extraction, and for the 3D printing of highly complex metal parts.
The investment is also setting new standards in environmental protection: the centerpiece of the plant—an electric arc furnace which melts down ultra-pure scrap combined with various alloy metals into special steels—will operate using only electricity generated from renewables. In addition, an efficient recovery system ensures that the heat generated during the process is used within the plant, as well as being fed into the public district heating network. In terms of cooling the production facilities, using closed circuits allows the volume of cooling water to be reduced by up to 90 percent.
Structural preparations forging ahead
The site preparations for construction of the new production facility, on an existing plot adjacent to the work’s premises which is roughly the size of six soccer fields (around 50,000 m²), have been underway since fall 2017. This includes leveling the construction site, supplying the power in the form of two substations, and constructing access roads and assembly areas. The first contracts for hall construction and plant engineering are scheduled to be awarded this summer. Installation of the equipment is planned from 2019 onwards. The three-year construction phase will itself create up to 1,000 temporary jobs at the site.
Major project creating significant value
With an investment volume of around EUR 350 million, the voestalpine project is having a significant economic impact: as an IWI study carried out in September 2017 shows, during the construction phase alone (2018–2021), about EUR 240 million of gross value will be generated nationally, EUR 145 million of which in Styria. All in all, the production value resulting from the project amounts to a total of around EUR 575 million (of which in Styria: EUR 375 million). The project indirectly secures 3,500 jobs in Austria during the construction phase, more than half of them in Styria.
Source : Strategic Research Institute