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SSAB Americas

SSAB Americas

Market-leading North American steel producer of high-quality heavy plate

SSAB Americas is the largest producer and supplier of heavy plate in North America. SSAB Americas is strongly positioned in North America as the most cost-efficient and highly recognized steel producer.

Modern steel mills are located in Mobile, Alabama and Montpelier, Iowa and have an annual production capacity of 2.4 million tonnes. Both mills utilize a scrap-based, electric arc furnace method to produce steel. The mills are strategically located to cover the industrial heartland in North America, with access to the strategic southern port system providing logistical advantage.

SSAB Iowa has a modern, world-class R&D facility adjacent to the steel mill. It has some of the most cutting-edge testing, simulation and metallographic equipment in the world. The facility is LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified and is staffed with highly-skilled research engineers and technicians.

SSAB Alabama has one of the world’s most advanced quenching and tempering (Q&T) lines with a capacity to produce 300,000 tonnes of Q&T heavy plate a year. Q&T steels are sold via the SSAB Special Steels division.

In addition to steel mills, SSAB Americas has cut-to-length facilities in Houston, Texas, St. Paul, Minnesota and in Toronto, Ontario (Canada). With the flexibility to handle both SSAB’s steel as well as steel from external suppliers, these locations process coils of various widths, gauges and grades to meet customer-specific requirements and rapid on-time demands.

Fast facts

Number of employees: Approximately 1,300
Sales in 20141): SEK 13,120 million pro forma
Share of SSAB Group's total sales: 22%
Head of SSAB Americas: Charles Schmitt, EVP

1) External sales 

Customers and end users

SSAB Americas manufactures a wide range of high-quality standard steel products and high-strength steels that are used in various industries.

Core customer segments include the following:
  • Energy: Gas, oil and water pipelines, offshore structures, transmission, wind turbines and petro-chemical tanks.
  • Heavy transport: Railway transport, ships and offshore, agriculture, forestry and fishing
  • Construction: Lifting, yellow goods, construction machinery
  • Service centers: Plate and coil
  • Mining: Earthmoving equipment 

Products

  • Heavy plate
  • Heavy plate coils
  • Heat treated heavy plate
  • Normalized plate
  • Quenched and tempered
  • Other products
  • Hot-rolled coil
  • Cold-rolled coil
  • Metal-coated products
  • Prepainted products

Market conditions and general market drivers

Overall, in the long run, the plate market in America is positive, supported by the energy sector and improving heavy transport and construction industry.

  • Recovery within general construction and civil engineering segments is improving employment in the construction sector and increasing equipment utilization rates.
  • There remains strong long-term demand for plate from energy-related industries and transportation and good demand for transporting products to refineries is increasing both railcar and line pipe demand.
  • Rail tank car market is creating demand for normalized plate.
  • A redesign in specified wall thickness of rail tank cars could result in up to a 20% increase in steel usage.
  • Wind tower and other alternative energy equipment continue to be excellent applications for plate products.
  • Transmission tower activity remains elevated as upgrading of the electrical grid delivery system continues.

Market areas and market share

  • Largest producer and supplier of heavy plate in North America
  • Strong market position in energy and heavy transport customer segments

Strengths

  • A strong North American production base with an industry-leading cost position and best-in-class customer service reputation
  • Two modern production facilities, electric arc furnaces (EAF), which use scrap steel as a raw material
  • Close cooperation with customers to create competitive advantages

SSAB Americas is also strongly committed to the environment as is evidenced by numerous recycling projects:
  • Scrap tire recycling program
  • Electric arc furnace dust recycling
  • SSAB facility recycling/sorting areas
  • ISO certifications for quality, environment and safety management (9001, 14001 and 18001)

Strategy and priorities

SSAB America’s goal is to maintain its leading position on the heavy plate market and to gradually expand capacity to capture some of the expected market growth. Further investment decisions will be made based on the assessments of long-term supply and demand and the ability to maintain the leading cost position.

  • Provide industry-leading customer service levels
  • Improve safety culture to an industry-leading level
  • Strengthen the low-cost leadership position with continuous improvement processes and implementation of the SSAB One philosophy

Competitors

SSAB America’s primary competitors are both domestic suppliers and imported products.