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“Due to the recent global market and economic situation, Canadoil’s plate mill has been put on hold until further notice,” a company spokeswoman told Steel First on Tuesday January 21.

“This project is no longer our priority project,” the spokeswoman said.

Canadoil Plate Ltd., the company that would produce the plates, ordered the mill from steelmaking equipment provider Siemens VAI Metals Technologies in 2008.

Originally scheduled to start operating two years later, the project was put on hold following the eruption of the global financial crisis, with a ground breaking ceremony taking place only at the end of 2010.

At that time, Canadoil revealed the mill would cost over $600 million and would be fully operational before the end of 2013, producing more than 1.2 million tpy of plate up to 5 metres in width.

High technology
The plate produced by the plant would have been be used for the production of high grade pipe, pressure vessels and structural steels for the energy industry.

But the company decided to shift its focus to higher value-added products instead of going ahead with the vertical integration move into plate production.

“To be able to compete in the market and to access new customers, Canadoil’s management has changed its directions and plans [and] decided last year to make new manufacturing plants that concentrate on high technology and high value added products,” the spokeswoman said.

A recently created company, called Global Piping Solutions, will become operational in the middle of this year following heavy investments on robotics machines that make products used in sour gas applications, she added.

Canadoil did not give any information about the status of the plate mill by the time it put the project on hold.

Siemens VAI has not replied to queries from Steel First regarding the project.