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SSAB Americas

SSAB Americas

Market-leading North American producer of quality steel plate and coil

SSAB Americas is the largest producer and supplier of steel plate in North America, strongly positioned and highly recognized in the region for cost-efficiency and quality.

SSAB Americas’ modern steel mills are located in Mobile, Alabama and Montpelier, Iowa and have a combined 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 to provide a logistical advantage.

SSAB Iowa has a modern, world-class research and development facility adjacent to the steel mill. It contains some of the most cutting-edge testing, simulation and metallographic equipment in the world.

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.

In addition to the two steel mills, SSAB Americas has three cut-to-length facilities located in Houston, Texas; St. Paul, Minnesota; and 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 with an enhanced service model.

 

Fast facts

Number of employees: Approximately 1,200
Sales in 20151): SEK 11,852 million
Share of SSAB Group's total sales: 21%
Head of SSAB Americas: Charles Schmitt (1959), EVP
1) External sales 


Customers and end users

SSAB Americas manufactures a wide range of quality steel products including advanced high-strength steels that are used in various industries. SSAB Americas sells products both directly to end customers and to steel service centers.

Main customer segments:
  • Energy: Gas, oil, offshore structures, transmission towers, wind turbines and petro-chemical tanks
  • Heavy transport: Railway transport, ships and offshore, agriculture, forestry and fishing
  • Construction: Lifting, yellow goods, construction machinery
  • Infrastructure: Water transmission, storage tanks and bridges
  • Service centers: Plate and coil
  • Mining: Earthmoving equipment
     

Products

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

General market conditions and demand

The North American market for plate has been challenging as the strong dollar has hurt the US industry, imports from Asia have been high, and low oil prices have decreased investment in the energy sector. The US has experienced a record surge of unfairly traded imports from countries like China, severely impacting market share. The outlook is a modest improvement in line with the overall improvement of the US economy.

Recovery within the general construction and civil engineering segments is improving employment in the construction sector and increasing equipment utilization rates. Automotive and heavy transport are expected to continue on a high level in the coming years. There remains strong long-term demand for plate from energy-related industries and transportation, and strong demand for transporting products to refineries is increasing both railcar and line pipe demand. Wind tower and other alternative energy equipment continue to be excellent applications for plate products.

 

Market areas and market share

  • SSAB is the largest producer and supplier of heavy plate in North America, with a market share of
    around 20-25%
  • SSAB maintains a strong market position in energy and heavy transport customer segments
  • US accounts for about 85% of sales, Canada 5% and Latin America 5%

Strengths

  • 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 recycled scrap metal as raw material
  • Close partnership with customers to develop unique customized products and solutions

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

Strategy

SSAB Americas’ goal is to maintain the 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.

  • Focus on working safely throughout the division
  • Provide industry-leading customer service levels
  • Strengthen the low-cost leadership position, with continuous improvement processes

Competitors

SSAB Americas’ primary competitors are local steel producers, such as Nucor and Arcelor Mittal, and imported products.