9. March 2017

SCHMOLZ + BICKENBACH announces large investment at Swiss Steel

SCHMOLZ + BICKENBACH, a global leader in special long steel, announced a major investment in its subsidiary, Swiss Steel, today. At around CHF 49 million, a new walking beam furnace and two new Garrett coilers will be installed at the Emmenbrücke site in Switzerland. The investment further strengthens the location.


With the investment, Swiss Steel is updating its facilities with state-of-the-art technology, resulting in one of the most modern facilities in the world. The production potential for special steels is increased by around 8%. The new walking beam furnace allows optimal and more efficient heating of the previously produced billets at the desired temperatures, preparing the billet for its further processing in the downstream rolling mill. In addition to a performance increase, this also reduces quality losses and achieves substantial energy and CO2 savings. The new Garrett coilers used to wind the rolled products after they were processed in the rolling mill will allow an increase of ring weight to over 2.2 tons from 1.8 tons currently. Thus, Swiss Steel meets the requirements of the important customer segment of drawing mills.


The commissioning of the plant is planned in stages. The walking beam furnace is expected to go into operation in 2019, the Garrett coilers a year earlier. Full operation is expected for the end of 2020. Of the total investment volume of CHF 49 million, around CHF 11 million originate from federal funds by means of a reimbursement of the "feed-in remuneration at cost" (“Kostendeckende Einspeisevergütung”, KEV), a Swiss federal instrument for the promotion of electricity production from renewable energies.


Carlo Mischler, CEO of Swiss Steel, said: "The investment decision is a clear commitment to Swiss Steel and its location Emmenbrücke. With the new equipment, we are increasing our competitiveness and can serve customers with even better quality and a wider range of products. In addition, we are significantly
reducing energy consumption in the rolling mill.”


Clemens Iller, CEO of SCHMOLZ + BICKENBACH: "Swiss Steel is a company with a strong market position and a broad customer base – a valuable part of our Group. The large-scale investment at the Emmenbrücke site strengthens this first-class positioning and makes it possible to meet the high demands of Swiss Steel's customers in the future."


For further information:

Contact Swiss Steel
Carlo Mischler, CEO
Phone +41 (0) 209 5301

Dr Ulrich Steiner, Vice President Corporate Communications & Investor Relations
Phone +41 (0) 41 581 4120

Forward-looking statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements about developments, plans, intentions, assumptions, expectations, convictions, possible impacts or the description of future events, outlooks, revenues, results or situations, for example. These are based upon the company's current expectations, convictions and assumptions, but could materially differ from any future results, performance or achievements. We are providing this communication as of the date hereof and do not undertake to update any forward-looking statements contained herein as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.