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January, 23rd 2022

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JAN 14
11:12

Netherlands to get new wire rod steelworks

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Van Merksteijn has resumed its plans for a greenfield wire rod mill in the Netherlands, with construction work to begin this year. The start of production is targeted for 2024, at an investment estimated at €300 million ($344m).

The Dutch maker and distributor of rebar and wire products presented plans for wire rod production in the Netherlands three years ago, but was stopped by local environmental restrictions regarding nitrogen emissions.

Together with plant-builder Danieli, the company has reworked its mill concept, and has come up with a set-up with minimal emissions, according to group commercial director Kris Van Ginderdeuren. At the beginning of January, it received environmental approval from authorities. Currently, it is on stand-by to step into the process of construction approval from the Groningen provincial government, which is hopefully a formality, Van Ginderdeuren says.

The mill will be established in the coastal location of Eemshaven, and will be laid out for an annual capacity of 580,000 tonnes of wire rod, the director tells Kallanish. The unique technical set-up worked out together with Danieli integrates a conveyor scrap feed instead of a bucket feed, a vacuum electric arc furnace controlled by digital melting technology, and endless casting technology.

“With an endless casting line, we can avoid re-heating of billets, which is one factor of saving energy in the process,” Van Ginderdeuren explains. Van Merksteijn had already considered endless casting when discussing the project with Danieli some years ago. In the meantime, the Italian plant-builder has set up such facilities in the USA, at CMC and Nucor.

Apart from the H2 Green Steel project in Sweden, Van Merksteijn’s wire rod mill is the first European project involving new liquid steelmaking capacity in many years. It was conceived to address a notorious shortage of wire rod in Europe. Van Merksteijn has long protested against the EU’s policy of restricting imports of wire rod. In 2016, it established the interest group EUNIRPA, the European Non-Integrated Wire Rod Processors Association.

Christian Koehl Germany