ThyssenKrupp sprints to build delayed stainless steel melt shop in Calvert
Published: Monday, March 28, 2011, 6:00 AM Updated: Monday, March 28, 2011, 7:11 AM
By Jeff Amy, Press-Register Press-Register
CALVERT, Ala. -- The race is back on at ThyssenKrupp AG's stainless steel melt shop.
The German steelmaker had planned to build the unit, which will melt scrap into new stainless steel, at the beginning of its $5 billion project in on the Mobile-Washington county line. But it put off construction to conserve cash during the global downturn.
Already having poured concrete foundations and structures, the stainless unit plans to begin erecting structural steel this week. It's a key milestone in the push to begin using the facility before the end of 2012.
The stainless unit shares the 3,600 acre site with a separately managed carbon unit. The melt shop will allow stainless to make its own steel for processing. The carbon side processes steel slabs produced in Brazil.
The stainless unit will have about one-third of the total employees on the site.
Guido Stebner, the director of the melt shop, said that ThyssenKrupp wants to start getting its money back from the unit as quickly as possible.
"When I came here in 2005, it was a timeline-driven project," he said. "Then it was budget-driven. Then cash flow-driven. Guess what? For the moment now, it's timeline-driven again."
The company plans double shifts, one for workers erecting steel, and another for workers pouring concrete and installing pipes, over the coming months. That's not only quicker, but safer, said Peter Elliott, who manages construction for the stainless unit. With separate shifts, cranes can't drop steel on people doing other work.