Allegheny Technologies Inc. reached a definitive agreement to form a 50-50 joint venture (JV) with an affiliate company of Tsingshan Group. The JV, Allegheny & Tsingshan Stainless, will manufacture and sell 60-inch-wide stainless sheet in North America. First shipments are expected in early 2018. The JV is projected to add approximately 100 manufacturing jobs in western Pennsylvania.

According to ATI, Tsingshan’s capabilities to produce stainless steel slabs using its vertically integrated mining, refining and casting assets in Indonesia combined with ATI’s low-cost hot-rolling and processing facility (HRPF), as well as the JV’s direct roll anneal and pickle (DRAP) facility, creates a cost-competitive supplier of stainless sheet products for the North American market. The JV will significantly increase the utilization of ATI’s HRPF and will utilize the previously idled DRAP finishing facility in Midland, Pa., which will be owned and operated by the joint venture. Hot-rolled coils will be finished into stainless sheet using the DRAP line.

Formation of the JV is subject to customary regulatory and anti-trust clearances, which are expected by the first quarter 2018.