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Brasil - ThyssenKrupp starts first steel slabs shipment for Alabama

It is reported that the first ship bearing steel slabs bound for Alabama from ThyssenKrupp's mill in Brazil left on October 22nd 2010.

The Hermann S, operated by the U SEA Bulk line, sailed from the pier at ThyssenKrupp's USD 5.7 billion at Sepetiba Bay, west of Rio de Janeiro. It’s carrying 50,000 tonnes of steel slabs, bound for the Pinto Island terminal that the Alabama State Port Authority built on the Mobile River to handle the material.

Ms Monica Freitas spokeswoman of ThyssenKrupp said that the ship is expected to arrive November 5th 2010. Once unloaded, the slabs will be transferred and barged to ThyssenKrupp's USD 5 billion mill on the Tombigbee River in Calvert. The second shipment from Brazil is supposed to leave November 2nd 2010 aboard the IDC Diamond.

The Brazilian mill, a JV with iron ore mining firm Vale SA, is meant to supply 5 million tonnes of raw steel per year at full capacity. Of that, 3 million will go to ThyssenKrupp's carbon steel operation in Alabama and 2 million to the firm's European plants. The receiving mills will process and finish the steel.

ThyssenKrupp is already processing carbon steel in Calvert, using slabs from its blast furnace in Duisburg, Germany. Those slabs cost more than the ones from Brazil. Because the economic recovery in Germany has been relatively strong, ThyssenKrupp has had to return to its historic practice of buying steel slabs from outside suppliers.

ThyssenKrupp managers have said they plan to fire up a second blast furnace in Brazil by the end of this year, a year earlier than planned, giving the company a low cost supply of raw steel that it controls.

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