ArceloMittal's Mexico expansion project remains on track despite local hurdles

Monday, 11 February 2019 01:10:49 (GMT+3)   |   Sao Paulo

ArcelorMittal’s new hot strip mill project in Mexico remains on track, despite a government decision to not renew a 15 percent import tariff over certain steel products. The company said during a Q4 presentation that it remains committed to its three-year, $1 billion investment in Mexico.

Competitor Altos Hornos de Mexico (AHMSA) announced last week it would suspend $200 million in investments due to the government decision to not renew duties over the imports of slab, CRC, HRC, heavy plate and wire rod from China and other countries Mexico doesn’t have trade agreements with.

In March 2018, ArcelorMittal indicated it would continue the $1 billion investment, even after peers like AHMSA showed concern over external factors, including the US’ Section 232 tariffs affecting Mexican steel imports.

By late 2018, AHMSA and Ternium Mexico were expecting Mexico’s exclusion from Section 232 in the new NAFTA deal negotiations.

ArcelorMittal’s planned Mexico expansion will allow it to produce 2.5 million mt of steel products, including flat rolled steel, long steel as well as semi-finished steel slabs. The project is expected to come online by Q2 2020. Construction commenced in Q4 2017.

As for its other projects in Latin America, ArcelorMittal said a proposed melt shop expansion at its Monlevade mill in Minas Gerais state, Brazil, remains “on hold upon Brazil domestic market recovery.” The project aims to increase the mill’s melt shop capacity by 200,000 mt/year.

On the other hand, ArcelorMittal’s Vega do Sul facility expansion in Brazil continues, and should be completed by 2021.

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