Primetals Technologies

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Primetals Technologies Limited
Limited Company
Founded2015, is a joint venture of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and partners
HeadquartersLondon, UK
Key people
  • Satoru IIJIMA, Chief Executive Officer[1]
  • Peter SCHRAUT, Chief Financial Officer
  • Etsuro HIRAI, Chief Technology Officer
  • Yasukuni YAMASAKI, Senior Adviser
  • Ashish GUPTA, Chief Sales Officer
  • Yoshihiko AIHARA, Chief Project Officer
ProductsMetallurgy and Rolling mill technology
Number of employees
Approx. 7,000

Primetals Technologies Limited, is an engineering and plant construction company located in London, the United Kingdom. It serves clients in the metals industry, both the ferrous and the nonferrous metals sector.[2][3]  It was established as a joint venture by merging Siemens VAI Metals Technologies and Mitsubishi-Hitachi Metals Machinery in 2015. Now Primetals Technologies is a joint venture of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and partners.


Mitsubishi Hitachi Metals Machinery[edit]

  • 2000 – Joint venture Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Hitachi Metals Machinery established
  • 2002 – Name changed to Mitsubishi-Hitachi Metals Machinery, Inc.
  • 2004 – Mitsubishi-Hitachi Metals Machinery, Inc. U.S.A. established
  • 2005 – Acquisition of New Gencoat, Inc., U.S.A
  • 2006 – MHMM receives contract for supply of pickling line-tandem cold mill from Shougang Jingtang Inc., China
  • 2007 – Mitsubishi-Hitachi Metals Machinery, Inc., China established
  • 2010 – Start-up of endless billet-welding and rolling mill at POSCO, South Korea
  • 2010 – Founding of Mitsubishi-Hitachi Metals Machinery South Asia Private Ltd.
  • 2012 – Start-up of No. 2 Hot-Rolling Mill at Usiminas Cubatão, Brazil
  • 2013 – Integration of IHI Metaltech rolling mill business
  • 2013 – Concast Ltd, India joins Mitsubishi-Hitachi Group
  • 2013 – Acquisition of 100% shares of Hasegawa Gear Works, Ltd.

Siemens VAI Metals Technologies[edit]


VAI, whose parent company was VA Technologie AG,[4] began as the plant building operation of Vereinigte Österreichische Eisen und Stahlwerke (VÖEST) but became a separate operation in 1956.[5] The English company Brassert & Co began to build the metallurgical plant in Linz in 1938.[citation needed]

After the air raids of the allied forces in July 1944, the entire facilities were severely damaged. By the end of the war, production had basically stopped.[citation needed] In July 1945, the "Alpine Montan AG Hermann Göring" plant was renamed to "Vereinigte Österreichische Eisen- und Stahlwerke" (VÖEST[6][7]) (United Iron and Steel Plants). For the plant’s reconstruction, some divisions were combined into the so-called “New Building Division”, designed to reconstruct the metallurgical plant in Linz. Thus, the most important metallurgical facilities could all be started up again by the year 1949: the coking plant, blast furnaces, SM-steel making plants (plant with Siemens-Martin-furnace, named after inventors) and heavy plate mills (mills producing plates of over 3 mm thickness). Many of the products were scarce commodities after the war. For this reason, the metallurgical plant was able to recover pretty soon, investing largely into the expansion of its own facilities. Due to the shortage of steel scrap, necessary for the operation of SM blast furnaces, the yearly steel mill capacities of 220,000 tons soon proved to be insufficient.[citation needed] The solution was a new manufacturing process: the LD-process (Linz-Donawitz-process, also called oxygen steelmaking) manufactured in house and commissioned in 1952[8] in Linz, and 1953 in Donawitz. The huge advantages of this process were cost-saving on the one hand (investment costs were only 65% and operation costs only 55% compared to the SM blast furnace), and larger production capacities on the other.


Werksausbau began as a division of VÖEST in 1956.[9]

The invention of the LD process and experiences gained from the complete reconstruction after the war led to the first external large-scale commission in the area of industrial plant construction in Rourkela, India, in 1958.[10]  It was a great success. Thereafter, many commissions from different metallurgical plants on almost all continents followed. The construction of industrial plants in the steel mill sector soon grew further, with the addition of hot and cold rolling mills as well as the construction of blast furnaces and metallurgical plants’ additional facilities like granulation plants and dolomite plants.

Due to the increasing amount of tasks, the New Construction Division had to be changed into "Industrial Construction and Plant Development" with a new focus on turnkey projects. 1964, VÖEST expanded their portfolio once more, this time with the construction of chemical plants, which soon reached a share of more than two thirds of the total turnover. Another milestone was the introduction of the continuous casting technology for the production of slabs. The huge amount of commissions and the increasing expansion of their own facilities led VÖEST to further increase their hot steel production from 2.3 to 3.1 million tons per year.

During this time, the number of employees grew to approximately 4,000 people. An additional center of technology was built in Vienna and additional constructors from Austria as well as from other countries were flown in. In 1973, the two nationalized iron and steel industries VÖEST and Österreichisch-Alpine Montangesellschaft (Alpine) merged and became Voest-Alpine AG.[11]The organization was restructured into the areas of “metallurgical plants” (seven divisions) and “chemical plants” (two divisions).


When the oil crisis started in 1974, the metallurgical industry was severely affected in all parts of the world. The consequence was a significant decline in prices within the steel sector, which also affected the construction of plants. Still, the area of technology (industrial plant construction and ready-to-use industry) became increasingly important for the company. Thus, the metallurgical plant’s share of turnover was 80% in 1973 - however, in 1976, the share of the plant construction and ready-to-use industries already amounted to 45%. The company was faced with a lot of restructuring processes and new orientations, but also gained the largest projects ever. In the beginning of the 1980s, first steps were taken towards biotechnology, leading to the construction of a biomass utilization technology center in Linz. In order to adapt to market requirements, the construction of chemical plants also took further measures in the area of environmental protection. A very important step in this area was the acquisition of Korf Engineering GesmbH as a 100% subsidiary, since it included the rights to the COREX process. Because of the continuous high amount of commissions, the effects of the steel crisis were mitigated. However, in 1985 the crisis exploded and in the previous years, political pressure had already been put on the nationalized company with regard to job security. Therefore, the company, which had meanwhile become a diversified group, suffered a record loss in 1984, amounting to a total of 25 billion Schillings.

In fall of 1986, the concept of Voest-Alpine NEU (Voest Alpine NEW) was introduced. This meant that the company now positioned itself as a market oriented technology company, which was based on the knowledge gained previously in the key area of steel. This concept should help the company to recover as quickly as possible. Established strong areas (quality and technology) and creative projects launched by employees were fostered in the construction of plants. Thus, COREX, horizontal continuous casting, and converter and electric furnace processes were further developed, and the electric arc furnace was introduced.

Finally, in 1988, Voest-Alpine Industrieanlagenbau (VAI) became a proper GesmbH in the framework of the newly established Maschinen-und Anlagenbauholding AG, which belongs to the parent company of ÖIAG. That same year, Voest-Alpine AG became Voest-Alpine Stahl AG,[citation needed] and VAI had sales of $636 million.[12]


In 1995, VAI was unhinged from Voest-Alpine Stahl and became a 100% subsidiary of the new VA Technologie AG (short: VA Tech).[citation needed] VAI operated in 45 countries and had 2000 engineers, with revenue of $841 million.[13]

As of 1997, VAI had about 4000 employees, had 100 orders totalling $3 billion, and had completed 620 projects in 80 countries. Voest-Alpine Stahl owned 21.25 percent of the stock in VAI's parent VATech.[5][14] In September 1999, VAI completed its acquisition of the Norwegian-owned Kvaerner A.S.A. metals equipment group, including operations in France, Spain, Italy, Germany, China, India and Great Britain.[15] This ranked as the most beneficial of several acquisitions preceding the company's most difficult year; in 2001, the steel industry worldwide experienced a downturn due to lower prices, though continuous casting (for which VAI was the world's top company) continued its positive results, especially in China. VAI reduced its six business areas to four: Iron & Steelmaking (the largest); Rolling & Processing; Automation, and Metallurgical Services.[8]

VAI subsidiary Voest-Alpine Industries Inc.[16] had its American headquarters in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.[14] In 1999, Voest-Alpine Industries, part of VA Tech North America, moved all its Pittsburgh operations to Southpointe in Washington County. At the time, the company had just taken over Kværner A.S.A.'s metals equipment group. Voest-Alpine Industries also operated in Eastlake, Ohio and Benton Harbor, Michigan.[15][17] The metals automation division of Voest-Alpine Industries relocated from Eastlake to Southpointe in 2002.[18]

In 1995, VAI bought its first shares of Fuchs Systems Inc. (Fuchs Systemtechnik GmbH), a German-based manufacturer of electric arc furnaces  and other equipment for manufacturing steel, with plants in Mexico and Salisbury, North Carolina.[13][19][20] The Salisbury plant had 230 employees in 1997.[21]  As of 1999, Voest-Alpine Industries owned 49 percent of Fuchs. Although the company laid off 59 employees in Salisbury, Fuchs was "the market leader", and the parent companies intended to keep Fuchs in business.[19] The layoffs resulted from an economic crisis in Asia, as well as lower demand for American steel resulting from the low import prices. However, the Asian market was returning by 1999, and Europe and South America were also possible new markets.[22] In May 2001, however, Fuchs closed the Salisbury plant, its only American facility, because half the customers were bankrupt or close to it.[21] AlloyWorks bought three of the buildings, and the fourth became a medical office.[23] A church used one of the buildings from 2002 to 2008.[24]

In 2001, Voest-Alpine Industrieanlagenbau bought the rest of Fuchs Systems, which became VAI Fuchs  and added VAI Technometal.[8]

Also in 2001, VAI's continuous casting operation added a casting and rolling mill for ultra-wide medium thickness slabs for IPSCO Steel in Mobile, Alabama,[8] with what were believed to be the world's largest one-piece cast mill housings at 350 tons.[25] The automation business completed a quality control project along with Voest-Alpine Stahl.[8]

In 2003, VAI subsidiary Voest-Alpine Services & Technologies Corp. became majority owner of Steel Related Technology of Blytheville, Arkansas.[26]

After the Siemens purchase of VA Technologie AG completed in July 2005, VAI became Siemens VAI, a part of the Siemens Industrial Solutions and Services Group.[4][27][28] Siemens VAI was later named Siemens VAI Metals Technologies GmbH & Co.[29] and also referred to as VAI Group, which was created from VAI and Siemens electrical engineering and automation businesses.[30][31][32] Siemens Group Industrial Solutions and Services also included Voest-Alpine Services and Technologies (VAST). Both Siemens units operated from the Pittsburgh area.[33] VAST provided mill maintenance services to steel and aluminum manufacturers from eleven locations: Baltimore, Maryland; North East, Maryland; New London, Ohio; Milan, Ohio; Benton Harbor, Michigan; Bethel Park, Pennsylvania; Blytheville, Arkansas; Charleston, South Carolina; Decatur, Alabama; and Erie, Pennsylvania in the United States and Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario in Canada.[34]


Creation of Primetals Technologies was announced in 2014.[35] Mitsubishi acquired 51% of Siemens VAI.[36] Primetals Technologies became operational in January 2015.[37] In 2019, Primetals together with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries acquired ABP Induction Systems.[38]


Corporate issues[edit]

The global headquarters are located in London, with the Sheffield operations in England run from Japan. Liquid metal operations are based in Linz.[39]

On September 30, 2019, Mitsubishi-Hitachi Metals Machinery (MHMM) and Siemens AG reached the agreement that MHMM will acquire Siemens’ 49 percent stake in Primetals Technologies. The transaction was completed at the end of January 2020.[40]

Primetals Technologies is now a joint venture of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and partners. The company has some 7,000 employees worldwide. 1,600 of those work in Linz.[41]


  1. ^ Satoru Iijima appointed CEO of Primetals Technologies
  2. ^ steelguru. "Primetals Technologies to supply automation technology to the rolling mills of Ulsan Aluminum in Korea". SteelGuru India. Retrieved 2018-12-07.
  3. ^ Staff, Sun. "Inbox [Jan. 20-27]: News and notes from WCAC, St. Peter-Marian, Primetals, Worcester Roots Project + more". Retrieved 2018-12-07.
  4. ^ a b Smith, Tim (2004-09-01). "VAI's continuous casting and rolling conference". Retrieved 2010-08-04.
  5. ^ a b "VAI - Plantmaking Specialists". Steel Times International. 21 (5). September 1997. p. 15.
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  11. ^ "1974-1985 VOEST-ALPINE AG up to the Reform of ÖIAG". Retrieved 2017-08-11.
  12. ^ Donker, Peter P. (1989-12-13). "DG to Enter Soviet Market 'Foothold' in Untapped Area". Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
  13. ^ a b Welch, David T. (3 March 1995). "Voest plans deal with Fuchs". American Metal Market. 103 (42). p. 8. ISSN 0002-9998.
  14. ^ a b "Voest Alpine acquires Kvaerner business". Pittsburgh Business Times. 1999-06-10. Retrieved 2010-06-29.
  15. ^ a b Elliott, Suzanne (1999-11-19). "Voest-Alpine to relocate 300 to Southpointe". Pittsburgh Business Times. Retrieved 2010-05-18.
  16. ^ "Dateline: Pittsburgh". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 2004-01-21. Retrieved 2010-09-02.
  17. ^ Fitzpatrick, Dan (2000-04-09). "Views differ on the prospects for commercial real estate". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2010-05-18.
  18. ^ "Voest-Alpine combining Ohio, Southpointe offices". Pittsburgh Business Times. 2002-05-23. Retrieved 2010-06-08.
  19. ^ a b Pitzer, Sara (1999-09-24). "Fuchs plans to lay off 59 workers". Salisbury Post. Retrieved 2010-05-18.
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  30. ^ "Siemens announces systems for Strip Cooling in Hot Rolling Mills". 2007-05-18. Retrieved 2010-06-02.
  31. ^ "Siemens VAI Metals Technologies GmbH & Co". The Hot Briquetted Iron Association. Retrieved 2010-06-02.
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  38. ^ "MHI and Primetals Technology to acquire ABP Induction Systems". Foundry Planet. 2019-07-17. Retrieved 2019-09-24.
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  41. ^ "02/06/14 – Mitsubishi purchases majority stake in Siemens VAI". International Iron Metallics Association. 2014-06-03. Retrieved 2014-08-03.

External links[edit]