United States Steel Corp. and Kobe Steel Ltd. agreed to begin construction of a new continuous galvanizing line (CGL) at their subsidiaries’ joint venture, PRO-TEC Coating Co. in Leipsic, Ohio, in response to an increased demand for advanced high-strength steels (AHSS). The CGL, an investment of approximately $400 million, will have an annual capacity of 500,000 tons. It will utilize a proprietary process capable of coating steel that will help automakers manufacture economically lightweight vehicles to meet fuel-efficiency requirements. Construction is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2017, and start-up expected to commence in 2019.
The CGL line will allow PRO-TEC to produce U.S. Steel’s cold-rolled Generation 3 steels with a hot-dipped zinc coating. Automakers can utilize these steels with their existing stamping and assembly methods to produce safe, strong and cost-effective structural components for vehicle bodies. Generation 3 steels provide superior formability and high-strength properties while using a low-alloyed approach for robust weldability.