ArcelorMittal-Valin Steel automotive steel joint venture starts up

Valin ArcelorMittal Automotive Steel Co Ltd (Vama), a joint venture between ArcelorMittal and Valin Steel, has started operations in Hunan province’s Loudi city on Sunday June 15.

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Vama, which is 51% owned by Valin Steel and 49% by ArcelorMittal, has a designed production capacity of 1.5 million tpy. It is capable of producing 800,000 tonnes of cold rolled coil, 200,000 tonnes of aluminium-coated coil and 500,000 tonnes of hot-dipped galvanized coil.

The company will produce high-strength automotive steels that currently have to be imported for the Chinese market, it said.

Set up with a total investment of 5.2 billion yuan ($845.3 million), the company eyes to capture 10% of China’s auto steel market.

“China has the world’s fastest-growing automotive market, recording a 16% increase in car sales to 18 million units last year, and is expected to account for 35% of worldwide automotive growth between now and 2020,” Vama said via a press release on Sunday.

“The most advanced technology has been extended to Vama, which is therefore ideally positioned to give auto manufacturers greater flexibility to produce lighter, safer and more environmentally friendly cars for customers in China,” Lakshmi Mittal, chairman and ceo of ArcelorMittal, said at Sunday’s opening ceremony.

“The Vama project is an important milestone for Hunan Valin to transform from a regional niche producer to a full service provider,” Cao Huiquan, chairman and ceo of Valin Steel, said.

Vama aims to supply international carmakers and tier 1 automotive suppliers, which include ArcelorMittal’s major customers in China, such as Volkswagen, GM, Ford, PSA, Daimler-Benz, BMW, Toyota, Honda, Renault, Fiat and Nissan, as well as leading domestic car manufacturers such as Geely, Chery, Dongfeng, Guangzhou Auto, Shanghai Auto and Changan.

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