Has voestalpine miscalculated?

The new voestalpine stainless steel plant in Kapfenberg, Styria, which is scheduled to go into full operation in mid-2022, will be noticeably more expensive than originally planned and will now cost up to 420 million euros. From today’s perspective, a cost increase of 10 to 20 percent compared to the investment plan of 350 million euros can be expected, the group announced on Wednesday. Corona and delivery delays at system suppliers would have led to delays in construction.

Commissioning will also take place later than originally planned. Full operation is expected in mid-2022 instead of this year. The project is now making rapid progress again, individual steps such as cold start-up were carried out this year, reported the board of directors. The annual production capacity in the plant is expected to reach up to 205,000 tons of special steel.

Over a period of five years, investments of 500 million euros should flow into the location in the Styrian Mürz Valley – this sum has increased to 535 to 570 million euros with today’s announcement. While around half a billion are flowing into the new plant, there were significant downsizing last year at voestalpine Böhler Aerospace in Kapfenberg. Due to the slack demand during the corona pandemic, 300 jobs were cut there. The oil and gas industry also suffered from the economic crisis. That cost 250 jobs at the seamless tube manufacturer voestalpine Tubulars in Kindberg.

All in all, voestalpine is scaling back its investments by a fifth in the 2020/21 financial year – according to the group’s figures in the balance sheet, the volume fell by 21.2 percent from EUR 777 million to EUR 612 million. In addition to the stainless steel plant in Kapfenberg, for example at the Krems location, due to the booming online trade in the field of storage technology in welding and Assembly systems has been invested. (apa / red)

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