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Outokumpu closes Benrath cold-rolling mill, moves ops to Krefeld site

Finnish stainless steelmaker Outokumpu Oyj completed the closure of its Nirosta cold-rolling mill in western Germany and transferred operations to its nearby Krefeld site, the company said Sept. 23.

The transfer of production capacity from Benrath to Krefeld follows the completion of a €108 million production ramp-up at Krefeld that kicked off in 2014 and has now reached a steady state.

The optimization involved building a new pickling and bright annealing line and a new batch annealing facility, as well as upgrading its cold-rolling and skinpass lines.

"The investment expanded and enhanced our capabilities in ferritic grades, closing the Benrath cold rolling mill," Outokumpu Managing Director Nirostamd Oliver Picht said in the statement. "We continue to serve our Benrath customers from Krefeld with modernized tools, meeting their highest demands for top-quality stainless steel."

Second-quarter losses at Outokumpu narrowed to €20 million from €41 million in the first quarter despite a fall in top-line revenue, due to "vigorous cost control."