Tenaris has announced an $11 million USD investment at its melt shop in Koppel, Pennsylvania, to expand the plant’s size range capabilities.
The steel shop ’s caster line will undergo upgrades to increase its steel bar size capabilities and improve safety, IT and automation systems at the mill.
The expansion will allow the facility to produce bars in a wider range of sizes, while securing a reliable source of billets for Tenaris’s seamless mills in Bay City, TX, and Ambridge, PA, in the United States and Sault Ste Marie, Ont., Canada.
“This investment is part of our strategic, long-term commitment to manufacturing in the U.S.,” shared Luca Zanotti, Tenaris U.S. President. “Our sector continues to be challenged by the volatility in oil and gas, the ongoing health crisis and unfairly traded pipe imports flooding a saturated market. These upgrades will further consolidate our position as an efficient supplier that provides a full range of made-in-America product solutions.”
The project is expected to last 14 months with completion by the end of the second quarter of 2021.
Tenaris acquired the former IPSCO facility in January 2020 from PAO TMK. The improvements will add sizes 8.465 inches (215 mm) and 10.630 inches (270 mm) to the currently produced size of 6.500 inches (165mm). The upgrades include modifications to the radius of the caster, installation of new molds, a new robotic billet marking system, repairs to the cooling bed, and improvements to automation and production safety systems.
"Due to the current market environment, it is very challenging to manage a steel shop efficiently. We need to have flexibility in operations to keep close control of the costs and expenses to ensure success,” pointed out José Torres Carrero, Senior Director for Tenaris Operations in the North.
The project also marks the first time that Tenaris’s engineers conducted infrastructure analysis during the planning phase remotely due to COVID-19.