PRO-TEC Coating Company to build a third continuous galvanizing line for ultra high-strength steel strip

Bird-eyes view on the company

PRO-TEC Coating Company in Leipsic, Ohio/USA © Picture: Kobe Steel, Ltd.

Kobe Steel, Ltd. and United States Steel Corporation have reached agreement for their joint venture, PRO-TEC Coating Company, in Leipsic, Ohio to begin construction of a new continuous galvanizing line in response to growing demand for automotive high-strength steel sheet in North America. Construction is expected to begin shortly with commercial operation to begin in July 2019. The new line, an investment of approximately US$400 million, will have a production capacity of 500,000 short tons (450,000 t) per year.

Automotive high-strength steel strip needs to be both strong and have high formability for use in a growing number of applicable parts. To produce new steel products that meet these needs, Kobe Steel and U.S. Steel decided to add a third continuous galvanizing line (CGL) at PRO-TEC. The new line will be equipped with cutting-edge heating and quenching capabilities to enable the production of high-formability, ultra high-strength steel with a tensile strength of 780 MPa and higher. Following the start-up of the new line in 2019, PRO-TEC will be able to supply ultra high-strength hot-dipped galvanized steel with high formability.

PRO-TEC is an equal partnership joint venture of Kobe Steel and U.S. Steel that began operation in 1993. With a total production capacity of 1.5 million short tons, PRO-TEC is one of the largest facilities of its kind in the United States. PRO-TEC currently supplies its high-quality steel sheet products mainly to Japanese automakers in the U.S. and the Detroit Three automakers. Customers have given PRO-TEC high marks for its quality products and supply capability.

Kobe Steel has established a global supply network for automotive high-strength steel in three locations: Kakogawa Works in Japan, PRO-TEC in the U.S., and Kobelco Angang Auto Steel Co., Ltd. in China. By producing and supplying high-strength steel products of outstanding quality, Kobe Steel contributes to weight savings in automobiles, leading to higher fuel efficiency and lower CO2 emissions.