ThyssenKrupp and China’s Baosteel plan to spend US$180 million to nearly quadruple capacity at a stainless-steel venture. The expansion is part of a US$1.43 billion investment that will eventually bankroll a facility to convert steel into hot-rolled stainless steel. The venture now imports hotrolled stainless steel, mainly from Europe, to process into higher-end cold-rolled products.
Shanghai Krupp Stainless, 60% owned by ThyssenKrupp, would have capacity to make about 270,000 tons per year by the end of 2004 versus 72,000 tons now. More money would be spent on increasing capacity to 390,000 tons by the end of 2005 or early 2006. ThyssenKrupp predicts China will overtake Europe as the world’s top consumer of stainless steel between 2005 and 2007.