“We are witnessing stronger demand for our quenched steels in Latin America, and thus we are increasing our production in Oxelösund,” says Melker Jernberg, Head of Business Area SSAB EMEA. “This also means increased production in the rolling mill and in other operations in subsequent parts of the production process. The new cooling line in Borlänge, which is being brought into commercial operation during the first quarter, is another reason why we are increasing the production of slabs in Oxelösund. Slabs are mainly supplied from Luleå, but Oxelösund also supplies steel slabs to Borlänge.

During the third quarter of 2011, the larger blast furnace in Oxelösund (M4) underwent a relining. Thanks to the investment, among other things production of hot metal will be more cost-efficient, at the same time as the impact on the environment is reduced. By shifting production from the smaller to the larger blast furnace, capacity will increase by approximately 25%, or 4,000 tonnes per week. Market demand will determine when the smaller blast furnace (M2) can be brought into operation again.

The operation of the blast furnace in Luleå is not affected by the change in Oxelösund. Production of hot metal in Luleå is taking place at normal capacity utilization.

The market prospects stated in connection with the report for the fourth quarter still apply, and the prospects for the European market remain uncertain.