Newcastle Works, located in the northern part of South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal Province, is the country’s foremost supplier of profile products.
This highly efficient and low cost operation, rated among the lowest billet cash-cost producer's in the world by a leading commodities research institute, bears testimony to the success of the intensive re-engineering programmes undertaken at ArcelorMittal South Africa.
The plant employs around 2050 permanent staff and 630 contract employees.
The plant has been producing 1.7 million tonnes until late last year when the blast furnace was relined, this led to the increase to 1.9 million tonnes per annum.
The profile products produced include low and medium-carbon commercial grades, low-carbon rimming steel substitutes, sulphur containing free-cutting steels, micro-alloyed steels, high-carbon wire-rod steels and low, medium and high-alloy steels.
Sizeable capital expenditure has been invested for the extensive refurbishment of the plant and to introduce sophisticated information systems. This has optimised operations and sustained global competitiveness at all levels.
Newcastle Works' strategic priorities revolve around expanding its strong position in the African market.
Growth of its present market share is being realised by providing customised attention to client requirements, enhanced delivery reliability and product quality.
Internationally, the focus of the operation has been to identify specific global locations where it can maximise export volume and price, and concomitantly reduce the risk of exposure to volatile markets abroad.
Successful implementation of re-engineering and continuous improvement programmes at the business unit has honed the business into a modern, internationally aligned operation.
The ISO 9002, 14001 and 18001 listed plant is an integrated operation that produces rolled steel from iron ore via a blast furnace route. The plant has three coke oven batteries, one sinter plant, one blast furnace, two basic oxygen furnaces and four rolling mills.
Vereeniging Works is the country’s major supplier of speciality steel products, seamless tube and forge products. The ISO 14001 certified plant employs 908 staff and produces 0.4 million tonnes of final product per annum, of which some 32% is exported.
Its strategic priorities are focused on retaining and expanding its share of the Southern African market, whilst supplying high quality, value added steels to select international markets.
It supplies input material for the manufacture of safety critical components (SCC’s) for the automotive industry, seamless tube for the petrochemical, oil and gas industries and wire rod wire for fencing and hoisting rope used in deep shaft mining.
The plant’s seamless tubes are manufactured and tested in accordance with API standards and meet the requirements of the petrochemical oil and gas industries. It is manufactured via a mini-mill, incorporating a multi-stand pipe mill and in-line downstream finishing facility. The manufacturing facility consists of a rotary hearth furnace, a cone-type rotary piercer and a multi-stand pipe mill. In addition it has a 22-stand stretch reducer followed by two straighteners, cutting and beveling facilities, as well as an EMI and ultrasonic testing unit.
Forge products includes an extensive range in sizes from 90 mm to 1 400 mm. The Vereeniging plant produces rounds, squares, flats, thick-wall tubes, step-forgings, rings, disks and blocks. Products are supplied in the “as-forged” condition or heat-treated to specification. Extensive machining facilities are available.
Special profiles, which are produced at a scaled down Pretoria operation, includes a full range of window sections, which are used for manufacturing of residential and industrial windows. Other products include Y and I standard fencing posts, T-section droppers and palisade fencing sections.
The Vereeniging operation utilises an electric arc furnace in its manufacturing of profile products from scrap and DRI.
General Manager: Newcastle Works
Deputy General Manager
Works Manager: Iron Making
Works Manager: Primary Steelmaking,
Finishing & Dispatch, QM
Bruce Mc Quade
Works Manager: Secondary Rolling
Works Manager: Eng. & Projects
Jean van der Merwe
Manager: Marketing: Long Steel Products
Manager: Planning & Logistics
Manager: Human Resources
Manager: Planning Long Steel
Manager: Information Management
Frikkie van Zyl
Manager: Business Improvement
Vereeniging Works Process Flowchart
Newcastle Works Process Flowchart