voestalpine’s state-of-the-art special steel plant in Kapfenberg is now open, and on full operationality will produce 205,000 TPA special sheets for highly sophisticated customer segments.
October 18, 2023
voestalpine has opened its state-of-the-art special steel plant in Kapfenberg, which marks a technological milestone in the production of pioneering high-performance materials for the international automotive, energy, and aerospace industries. Once fully operational, the new plant can annually produce 205,000 tons of special steels for highly sophisticated customer segments.
The new plant, the world’s most advanced in terms of digitalization and sustainability, is also the first of its type to be constructed in Europe in four decades. The region is reaping significant economic benefits from investment in this major project.
Mr. Herbert Eibensteiner, CEO of voestalpine AG, stated, “Today’s opening of the special steel plant in Kapfenberg is a historic moment, and a decisive technological step that will allow us to further enhance our competitiveness in the global market. At the same time, this major investment will help to maintain prosperity and jobs in the region over the long term.”
Mr. Franz Rotter, Member of the Management Board of voestalpine AG & Head of the High Performance Metals Division, said, “Having employees with such comprehensive expertise at the site was the key reason for choosing Kapfenberg as the location for the new special steel plant. I would like to thank in particular all those employees whose dedication over the past months and years has made today’s opening of this once-in-a-century project possible. The commitment they demonstrate on a daily basis will help to further expand our leading position in tool steels and special steels.”
The new plant meets the most advanced Industry 4.0 standards: Around 8,000 process data are continuously acquired, implemented, and evaluated in parallel. All the melting processes are directed from a central control station. The employees are given the necessary training in robotics, sensors, and data analysis at the company’s own Digitalization Competence Center. The training of tomorrow’s generation of skilled workers at the modern training center in Kapfenberg focuses on the digital workplace. A new campus for 60 apprentices will be built at the site to ensure future apprentice training. Construction works began in summer 2023, and completion is scheduled for fall 2025.
Another highlight of the new special steel plant lies in its environmentally friendly and sustainable steel production: Heat will be released from the smelters to the district heating system; cooling takes place via a closed loop; and the plant operates extremely efficiently. At the heart of the plant is the electric arc furnace, which will be operated using only green electricity.