The new 1.500mm Sendzimir cold rolling mill at Columbus Stainless (Middleburg, South Africa) rolled the first coil on 13 August 2004, exactly two months ahead of schedule. The mill was supplied and installed by the Japanese consortium of Sojitz–Mitsubishi-Hitachi-Toshiba.
The commissioning of the new mill follows shortly after the upgrade of the finals annealing and pickling line which included an in-line skin pass mill, tension leveller and side trimmer and modifications to the furnace and looper sections. The upgrade was implemented by VAI (Voest Alpine Industries) and was completed one month earlier than contracted.
The cold mill commissioning completes the comprehensive investment program of 1,100 million Rands (138 million Euros) announced in November 2002, soon after Acerinox SA acquired a 64% shareholding in Columbus Stainless (Pty) Ltd
The investment increases the cold rolling capacity of Columbus Stainless to 400,000 tons per annum and significantly improves the value added proportion of the production mix. The new installations further improve Columbus’ capability to supply the key sectors in the domestic market whilst improving the competitiveness of the operation.