October 2021
While demand for zinc has not shown as much growth as that for other base metal industries, it remains at a slow, steady increase. Galvanised steel output remains the principal driver of zinc demand, with galvanised steel demand seeing an increase due to the growing market for electric vehicles as well as many companies targeting this market as it is a premium product, lighter and stronger, and good for construction. This is driving a rise in galvanising capacity growth projects, particularly in Asia.

 Asia

China

International technology Group ANDRITZ received an order from Valin ArcelorMittal Automotive Steel Co., Ltd., China, in July 2021 to supply a galvanising furnace for a new coating line to produce 3rd-generation Advanced High Strength Steel. The line will produce hot-dip galvanised or zinc-aluminium-magnesium coated flat steel of highest strength, suitable for the automotive industry’s current needs. Start-up of the line is scheduled for the end of 2022. Valin ArcelorMittal Automotive (VAMA) is a 50/50 joint venture by ArcelorMittal, the world’s leading steel company, and Valin Steel, a leading Chinese steelmaker, and is located in the economic development zone of Loudi. The coating line will increase VAMA’s capacity to produce high-quality, high-strength steels for the Chinese automotive industry by 450ktpa to 2Mtpa.

India

JSW Steel is on course to be India’s largest steelmaker. JSW Vijayanagar Works is one of the world’s largest steel plants, with an installed capacity of 12Mtpa. CRM-1 complex capacity expansion (0.85 - 1.8Mtpa). The 1.8Mtpa Pickling Line and Tandem Cold Mill (PLTCM) project was completed in 2021. One of the two Continuous Galvanising Lines (CGL) of 0.45Mtpa has commissioned, and commissioning of the second line is expected by the March quarter of 2022.

Salasar Techno Engineering Ltd, one of the largest steel fabrication and infrastructure companies in India, is planning the construction of a new galvanisation plant in the next six months. The facility is set to have a capacity of 96ktpa.

Anwar Galvanising, part of the Anwar Group of Companies, is set to double its production capacity by 2022, taking total capacity to 4,725tpa of galvanised corrugated sheets and iron fittings at a cost of US$3.15m (Tk 27 crore).

Shri Bajrang Power and Ispat Ltd., which is among the top 10 steel producers of India, has lined up a brownfield capacity expansion plan worth US$39.9m (₹217 crore) of which US$26.7m (₹145 crore) has already been invested. The expansion will see 0.20Mtpa additional sponge iron plant enhancing sponge-iron output from 0.61Mtpa to 0.81Mtpa as well as expanding steel melting shop capacity from 0.24Mtpa to 0.37Mtpa and the setting up of a 0.10Mtpa galvanising plant.

Rest of Asia

KKB Engineering is set to increase the steel and hot-dip galvanising production capacity in Malaysia at the Bintawa Industrial Estate by up to another 2.5ktpa to 6.5ktpa. The project is targeted for completion in mid-2022, with a capital expenditure of about MYR4m (US$0.96m).

The hot-dip galvanised steel market driven by the growing construction and automotive industries in Thailand is forecast to see growth of around 6% by 2030, fuelling demand for imported zinc. Thailand can act as an alternative manufacturing option to China with a 2019 survey by the American Chamber of Commerce stating that 40% of US based companies already had or were planning to relocate manufacturing facilities to sites outside China. The government of Thailand is planning to upgrade its three main manufacturing cities, Chonburi, Rayong, and Chachoengsao, under a US$45Bn Eastern Economic Corridor development plan in order to further boost its manufacturing industries. Expansion and establishment of the manufacturing industry are expected to boost the demand for hot-dip galvanised steel in construction activities.

 

North America

Steel Dynamics Inc. is investing in new galvanised and paint lines at its Heartland plant in Terre Haute, Indiana. The investment is set to cost US$231m and will be located adjacent to the existing plant. Heartland currently has a capacity of 1Mtpa of cold rolled steel and galvanising capacity of 360ktpa. Steel Dynamics earlier in the year announced that it would be building four new value-add lines with one galvanising line and one paint line each in the south and Midwest. The southern value-add lines will be built in proximity to Steel Dynamics’ new 3Mtpa flat-rolled mill in Sinton, Texas. The company has not yet announced the location of the Midwest value-add lines. The Midwest lines would have a combined capacity of 540ktpa and are expected to be operational in the second half of 2022. The company previously said the galvanising line would have a capacity of 300ktpa, while the paint line would have a production capacity of 240ktpa.

Nucor Corporation is set to build a new state-of-the-art 3Mt sheet mill in the USA. Nucor is evaluating locations in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. The new mill will be geographically situated to serve customers in the Midwest and Northeast markets and will have a significantly lower carbon footprint than nearby competitors. The new sheet mill is expected to cost approximately US$2.7b and have the capacity to produce three million tonnes of steel annually. The mill will be able to produce hot-rolled sheet products with downstream processing including a tandem cold mill, annealing capabilities and initially two galvanising lines. Galvanising capabilities will include an advanced high-end automotive line with full inspection capabilities as well as a construction-grade line. Once state and local incentives, permitting and other regulatory approvals are received, construction is expected to take two years.

 

South America

ArcelorMittal is resuming its galvanising expansion project at Vega do Sul in Santa Catarina, Brazil, in response to fast-growing demand in the country. The US$350m expansion project aims to increase capacity by 700ktpa to 1.65Mtpa of galvanised steel. Operations are now expected to start up in the fourth quarter of 2023. The project involves the construction of a new continuous annealing line and a continuous galvanising (CGL) line. A further increase could be done with a coating line, to add 100ktpa in capacity, to serve both the appliance and construction industries, according to ArcelorMittal.

 

Europe

Fastline Steel Services, based in the UK, announced in March 2021 the completion of a multi-million-pound partnership agreement which grants Fastline exclusive use of Corbetts the Galvanizers’ Plant A galvanising facility in Telford, which will guarantee that over 15,000t of perimeter steel fencing will be galvanised there every year. The manufacturing and galvanising of standard product lines can now take place at the same site, which will result in reduced ecological impact from zero logistics, reduced lead times, reduced costs, and increased quality control, making the process the most effective, efficient, and environmentally friendly in the industry.

 

CIS

NLMK Group is the largest steelmaker in Russia and one of the most efficient in the world. It is on track to increase capacity at its NLMK Lipetsk site by 450ktpa of rolled steel from 2022 with the construction of its new continuous hot-dip galvanising line (HDGL-5). Currently, galvanised steel at NLMK Lipetsk is produced at four lines with a total annual capacity of 1.25Mt. The 2022 launch of HDGL-5 will enable NLMK Group to boost its output of high-value-added products and enhance its competitive advantage in the production of rolled products with advanced protective coatings. The project is worth over RUB12 b and will enable the production of thin high-strength steel with increased corrosion resistance. As a result, NLMK will provide the automotive, white goods, and construction sectors with steels for manufacturing lighter, stronger, and more eco-friendly products.