ArcelorMittal announced a major US$ 1 billion, three-year investment program in Mexico, focused on building ArcelorMittal Mexico’s downstream capabilities, sustaining the competitiveness of its mining operations and modernizing its existing asset base. The plan is expected to support the creation of approximately 800 new jobs and will play an important role in bolstering economic activity in the state of Michoacán.
The program is designed to enable ArcelorMittal Mexico to meet the anticipated increased demand requirements from domestic customers. Once fully operational, the program will grant ArcelorMittal Mexico’s productive capacity of 5.3 million tons to significantly enhance the proportion of higher-value added products in its product mix, in-line with the Company’s Action 2020 strategic plan.
The main investment will be construction of a new hot strip mill. Construction will take approximately three years and, upon completion, will enable ArcelorMittal Mexico to produce 2.5 million tons of flat rolled steel. Coils from the new hot strip mill will be supplied to domestic, non-auto, general industry customers. Further investments will be made at Lázaro Cárdenas, Michoacán to improve the quality and productivity of the asset base, with additional investment in the group’s Mexican mining operations.
ArcelorMittal Mexico currently produces 4 million tons of steel a year. Following completion of the investment program, production would be optimized to 5.3 million tons per year, with the proportion of finished steel for the domestic Mexican market significantly expanded. Flat rolled steel production would total 2.5 million tons, long steel 1.8 million tons with the remaining 1 million tones made up of semi-finished slabs.
The announcement follows confirmation that the Mexican government has established five Special Economic Zones (SEZ) in southern Mexico to attract infrastructure investment in areas of undeveloped economic potential. Lázaro Cárdenas, home to ArcelorMittal Mexico’s primary steelmaking operations, was named a SEZ.