Severstal NA CEO “perplexed” by new DOE federal grants
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On Friday, Severstal North America CEO Sergei Kuznetsov issued a statement regarding the Department of Energy's announcement Thursday to grant $14.2 million to accelerate the development and deployment of stronger and lighter materials for advanced vehicles. The grant will go toward research for predictive modeling of advanced steels, among other areas.
In a press release, Kuznetsov commented: "This week's announcement by DOE of up to $14.2 million in federal grants in support of lightweight materials including advanced steels is yet another confirmation of the importance of advanced high strength steels (AHSS) as a critical material to achieve energy-efficiency in automobiles. We are, however, perplexed by this announcement in light of the DOE's January decision not to close the $730 million loan committed by DOE to Severstal Dearborn under the ATVM program. Our Dearborn, Michigan based project aimed at the production of exactly the advanced and ultra-high strength steels that the DOE is supporting. If the loan was closed in early 2010, as originally planned--our Michigan facility today could be weeks away from offering the third generation of AHSS to our automotive customers. Instead, domestic automakers, who endorsed our loan application, are unable to implement next generation AHSS in current and future vehicle designs due to lack of reliable domestic supply."