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BUSINESS SHORTS

U.S. Steel Košice opens new galvanising line

STEELMAKER U.S. Steel Košice (USSK) officially opened its new hot dip galvanising line on September 25.

"For us, this is the path of the future," USSK President David Lohr told the Hospodárske Noviny daily. "Our ability to supply the [automotive] market will almost double."

Construction on the line began in June 2005 and the company spent a total of US$160 million on it (about Sk3.87 billion). Its current capacity is 350,000 tonnes of hot dip galvanised body sheets for the automotive industry.

About 75 percent of the production that uses the new line will go to the auto industry. The rest will go to household appliances manufacturers and construction materials.

The new line created about 150 jobs.

"We exceeded the obligation to invest US$700 million in the Košice metallurgic plant within 10 years a long time ago," said U.S. Steel president John Surma. "Moreover, the company put more than US$250 million extra into environmental protection and environmental projects."

Prime Minister Robert Fico and former prime minister Mikuláš Dzurinda also attended the event. Fico praised the USSK efforts to manufacture products with high added value, the SITA newswire wrote.

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