ArcelorMittal to invest $15m in Brazil for special steel

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The world's largest steel-maker ArcelorMittal is investing $ 15 million at its Brazil facility to produce specialised high strength steel for automotive industry by next year.

"ArcelorMittal is investing around $ 15 million in the production of advanced high strength steel at its Vega do Sul flat steel rolling mill in the state of Santa Catarina in southern Brazil," the company said in a statement.

The plant's existing production lines will be equipped to produce Usibor, a press-hardened boron steel with an aluminium-silicon coating used mainly in the automotive industry.

Using Usibor allows manufacturers to create lighter, safer and more environmentally friendly vehicles at an affordable cost.

"With a strength of 1,500 MPa (Megapascal to show tensile strength) after hot-stamping, Usibor is one of the most resistant steels used in automotive applications, used mainly for the production of structural parts including A-pillars, B-pillars, frontal and rear bumpers, various types of rails, and the tunnel floor," it said.

"Usibor has been imported from ArcelorMittal plants in Europe into Brazil since 2012; production in ArcelorMittal Vega do Sul is due to start in the second quarter of 2015," it said.

Hot rolled coils will continue to be produced at ArcelorMittal Tubarao in Espirito Santo, Brazil, and the patented aluminum-silicum coating will be applied at ArcelorMittal Vega do Sul.

The $ 15 million investment is in line with the Brazilian government's Inovar-Auto stimulus programme, which seeks to encourage auto makers to invest in the Brazilian automotive industry and to produce more efficient, safer, and technology-advanced vehicles, the company said.

The investment confirms ArcelorMittal's commitment to Brazil as a key market and to the automotive industry as a key franchise, it said.

ArcelorMittal is working closely with car-makers in Brazil and around the world to help them address their technological and geographical challenges, it added.

Usibor is one of the flagship products of ArcelorMittal's which offers more than 60 solutions which can help reduce the weight of the body-in-weight by up to 20 per cent compared to a reference C-segment car.

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