International Steel Mills

CSA Gets Official Operating License

Written by Sandy Williams

After running on provisional licenses for the past six years, Thyssenkrupp’s CSA steel mill in Brazil has finally been granted a definitive operating license by the state environment authority.

Companhia Siderúrgica do Atlantico (CSA) has faced environmental problems ever since it began production. Numerous fines and shutdowns were ordered by the court in relation to problems with emissions and contaminated water.

CSA said in a statement that “the INEA (State Environmental Institute) certified that all environmental requirements have been met by the company.”

The $5.9 billion CSA mill, part of Thyssenkrupp’s Steel Americas project, has been a money pit for the company since construction began back in 2007. The joint venture with Brazilian mining company Vale was hit by high construction costs and interest rates that put the mill over budget. The ensuing 2008 U.S. recession and subsequent Brazilian recession left the plant struggling with soaring production costs and global pricing pressure.

An unsuccessful attempt was made by Thyssenkrupp to sell its share of CSA in 2013. Complications with Vale’s 27 percent ownership and problems at the plant nixed any deal. Thyssenkrupp sold its U.S. facility in Calvert, Alabama to ArcelorMittal and Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation in December 2013. Thyssenkrupp gained total control of CSA in April 2016 after acquiring Vale’s 27 percent share for a nominal fee.

CSA has a production capacity of 5 million tonnes of steel slab per year and continues to provide slabs to the Calvert mill in Alabama.

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