SSAB will set up a research and development center in Kunshan, which will focus on workshop expertise and application development of high strength steels. Chinese customers will receive training on how to use the material in the best way to enhance production efficiency and benefit from SSAB’s customer project experience to improve product structural design. The new facility is expected to begin operations in the third quarter 2011.

“SSAB has the products and knowledge to build a much stronger position in China and the rest of Asia. Our view on knowledge sharing has proven to be very successful. We not only provide our clients with material, but also focus on customer care and support. We want to help our clients push the limits of what is possible”, said Martin Pei Ph. D, President of SSAB APAC.

As earlier communicated, SSAB also builds a finishing line in Kunshan. It will further improve delivery performance, shorten lead times and offer value added service to Chinese customers.  In the new finishing line, semi-finished plates from Sweden and the US will be cut, blasted and painted based on customer orders. The existing Plate Center will be equipped as a Hardox Wear Parts Center, offering value added service to the aftermarket. The finishing line is expected to be brought into commission in the middle of 2011.

Today, Martin Pei will preside over a ceremony for the ground breaking of the new finishing line and R&D center, together with Mr. Zhu Fengquan, Member of the Standing Committee of CPC Kunshan Committee.

At the ceremony, Martin Pei will present SSAB’s strategy - to establish a strong footprint in Asia - and also introduce SSAB’s second phase of the investment project in Kunshan.

“By 2015, the Asian market, of which China is a big part, is expected to account for 20 percent of SSAB’s total output of niche products. SSAB will continue expanding its local organization and investments to honor its long standing commitment to the China market”, said Martin Pei.