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2006 - 09 - 12

AGREEMENT SIGNED BETWEEN ARVEDI AND SIEMENS

Arvedi and Siemens will build the world's first plant for the continuous production of thin gauge steel coils in Cremona. Development and sales worldwide of plants based on the new technology will be managed in a joint venture shareholding by a new company, Cremona Engineering srl.


Milano, 12 september 2006 - The Italian steel producer Acciaieria Arvedi S.p.A. (Cremona) will build the world's first ARVEDI ESP - Endless Strip Production - plant which will continuously produce finished steel strip from liquid steel in an endless process. The combination of different and up until now separate process steps in a single production process will enable the direct and continuous production of high quality steel strip and thus result in significantly lower production costs. The partner of Arvedi for this unique production process is Siemens VAI. Both companies have established a joint venture company, Cremona Engineering srl, which is responsible for the development and design of the new plant and which will also market this technology on a worldwide basis in the future. The first plant is already scheduled for start-up in 2008 in Cremona.

Acciaieria Arvedi successfully and profitably operates a steel plant in Cremona with the ISP (In-line Strip Production) process. On the basis of this technology Arvedi has developed a new process in which the cast thin slabs will be immediately rolled to strip and coiled in a continuous endless process. The new single line plant of this new process, called ARVEDI ESP - Endless Strip Production
- will have a capacity of over 2 million tons of rolled steel per year and will serve as the reference plant for future sales. Hot-rolled thin strip comprising a wide range of steel grades will be produced. For many application areas cold rolling will no longer be necessary. This results in substantial investment and operational cost savings in addition to considerably reduced energy requirements and improved environmental compatibility. Over the next years the total planned investment in the Cremona works for the enlargement of the production capacity will be approximately EUR 300 million.

ARVEDI ESP represents an important breakthrough in steelmaking for the manufacture of hot rolled quality thin gauge coils in economic and industrial terms.

ARVEDI ESP and the relative patents belong to the wider complex defined as Arvedi Steel Technology (AST) and is protected by over 20 patents in the most important industrial countries for full protection of the company's intellectual property rights. Arvedi has placed an order with Siemens VAI, a division of the Siemens Group Industrial Solutions and Services (I&S), for the supply of mechanical, electrical and automation equipment for the new plant. Simultaneously with the order placed for the new in-line casting/rolling plant, Arvedi and Siemens VAI have established a 50/50 joint-venture company, Cremona Engineering srl, headquartered in Cremona/Italy. The task of the joint venture is to introduce the new ARVEDI ESP technology to the worldwide market, to implement the technical aspects of the plant and to market this technology on a worldwide basis. Both companies will provide personnel for engineering, commissioning and maintenance of the plant as well as for training of plant personnel. It was agreed by both companies not to disclose the financial details of the joint venture.

"After years of hard work and the positive experience and research conducted on the Cremona ISP plant through the production of more than 10 million tons of steel", says Mr Giovanni Arvedi, Chairman of the Arvedi Group, "we are ready to pass from ISP technology, applied to our batch line in Cremona, to ARVEDI ESP, a fully endless process that revolutionizes thin slab cast-rolling. The Cremona ARVEDI ESP master plant will produce large volumes of high added value steel with a rapid return of the investment "

"With the implementation of this new technology a dream of steel producers will become true," says Mr. Joergen Ole Haslestad, Head of the Board of the Siemens I&S Division, about this joint project. "Substantial economic advantages can be achieved in a single process step from the steel mill to the continuous casting machine to endless rolling." For Siemens the joint development and introduction of this new technology with Arvedi in Cremona, is another step in the development of innovative solutions to strengthen the competitiveness of the world steel industry.



ARVEDI ESP, characterized by endless casting/rolling lines and a highly compact line arrangement (approximately 190 m total line length) is designed to enable the endless rolling of strip to thicknesses below 1.0 mm. Due to the unique design features, plant configuration and operational parameters, an ARVEDI ESP line is capable of producing a wide range of steel grades (e.g. HSLA/High-Strength Low-Alloy and multi-phase steels) at lower costs in terms of capital and operational expenditure, with a higher added value product mix having superior mechanical properties in comparison with conventional thin-slab casting and direct-rolling plants for a faster return of the investment.


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