Boulogne Billancourt, 1 September 2011 -
Vallourec, world leader in premium tubular solutions, today announced the
inauguration of its new Brazilian steel and tube plant at a ceremony attended
by Dilma Rousseff, President of Brazil and Antonio Anastasia, Governor of the
State of Minas Gerais. This major project, launched in 2007, is totally in line
with the strategy of international growth, supported by Jean-Paul Parayre,
Chairman of the Supervisory Board since 2000. Since this time, Brazil has held
a predominant role in the strategy of the Group.
Created under a joint venture agreement with
Sumitomo Metals of Japan, Vallourec & Sumitomo Tubos do Brasil (VSB) is 56%
owned by Vallourec and 44% owned by Sumitomo Metals and Sumitomo Corporation.
The construction of the new plant, which began in 2008, is now complete, and
production is in the start-up phase.
VSB is located in Jeceaba, in the state of
Minas Gerais, close to Vallourec’s other Brazilian entities. It is an
integrated plant, producing steel billets and seamless steel tubes, which
benefits from direct access to raw materials provided by two Vallourec
subsidiaries, one specializing in iron ore extraction, and the other in
charcoal production. This unique manufacturing complex has been built on a site
of 250 hectares and uses state-of-the-art technology. It will have two blast
furnaces and an electric furnace, a premium tube-making facility and heat
treatment, threading and finishing lines. It will employ a workforce of 1,600
and will have an annual production capacity of one million metric tonnes of
steel (of which 300,000 tonnes for Vallourec’s own, non-VSB requirements), and
600,000 metric tonnes of tubes, of which 300,000 tonnes for Vallourec. The
plant will boost the Group’s tube production capacity by over 10% and will
serve international oil and gas markets, notably in West Africa.
Philippe Crouzet, Chairman of the Vallourec
Management Board, said: “Present since 1952 in the state of Minas Gerais via
its V & M do BRASIL subsidiary, Vallourec chose to pursue its development
here with this new plant, as it benefits locally from the full range of
competitive factors, not only in terms of natural resources – iron ore and
charcoal – but also in terms of infrastructure and skilled labour. This plant
marks a new stage in Vallourec’s strategic growth. It will enable the Group to
support the ambitions of its international customers, and serve their requirements
for premium tubular solutions for oil and gas applications.”
From the outset, the VSB plant has been
designed to minimize its environmental impact, both in terms of its carbon
footprint and the protection and preservation of flora, fauna and natural resources.
Special efforts have been undertaken to ensure
that the new plant integrates harmoniously into the local economic,
environmental and social fabric, in line with the Group’s existing presence in Brazil
over the past six decades.