A fire at United Stainless Steel Company’s (USCO) stainless steel re-rolling mill in Salman Industrial City in Al Hidd, northern Bahrain, early on Tuesday May 22, has halted operations and could result in lost production, market sources told Metal Bulletin on Wednesday May 23.
“I saw the fire from outside and it was horrible - production will be stopped for some time for sure but it is hard to say how long it will be,” a source in Salman Industrial City said.
At this stage, there is no indication of how stainless steel production has been affected or how much volume will be lost from the market. The USCO mill, which was built in 2007, has cold-rolled stainless steel capacity of around 100,000 tonnes per year.
Images taken after the fire was extinguished suggest extensive damage to the structure and the production lines inside the building.
The fire, which was reported at 5.25am local time on May 22, was put out with the help of 17 vehicles and 74 personnel, Bahrain’s civil defence said in a statement on May 22.
The USCO stainless rolling mill is managed by Switzerland-based trading company Chromium Trade, which signed a production and sales agreement with USCO’s Bahraini holding company, Foulath, in August 2017.
Chromium Trade did not reply to a request for comment at the time of publication. Foulath could not be reached for comment at the time of publication.
USCO imports hot-rolled stainless steel, including material from Chinese stainless steelmaker Taiyuan Iron & Steel (Tisco), and re-rolls it to produce cold-rolled stainless steel. It sells into several markets, including Italy, Metal Bulletin understands.
Foulath also owns two compatriot companies - pellet producer Bahrain Steel and beams and sections producer SULB.