VEREENIGING. – ArcelorMittal South Africa, Africa’s largest steel producer is pleased to announce that its Vereeniging Plant has reached a significant milestone as it celebrates its 100th anniversary this year.

Steelmaking operations at the Vereeniging plant commenced a century ago with a 10-tonne furnace, producing roughly 4 000 tonnes of pig-iron steel between 1913 and 1920. The Vereeniging Works is the country’s major supplier of speciality-steel products, seamless tube and forge products. Almost 500 000 tonnes of final product is produced per year, of which some 32% of steel is distributed to offshore markets.

The Vereeniging Plant plays a striking role in ArcelorMittal South Africa’s overall growth strategy and in the steel manufacturer’s ability to continue contributing immensely to local economic growth and job creation in South Africa. The company is extremely proud to have reached this milestone considering the many challenges and obstacles that South Africa and ArcelorMittal South Africa have faced over the last century. Some of these challenges include two world wars, the Great Depression in the 1930s, countless economic difficulties and several recessions. “However, the fact that we are all here today commemorating our 100th year anniversary bears testamimony to the fact that we are a strong and resilient company,” commented Ms Nyembezi-Heita, chief executive olfficer (CEO): ArcelorMittal South Africa. In 2010, the company spent R220-million on a dust-extraction unit, which has contributed to a significant reduction of emissions in the region. “Dust above the Vereeniging site has been significantly eliminated, with the dust-capture rate from melt shop activities improving by 45%. This is just one way of dealing with the various environmental challenges we face on a daily basis,” adds Ms Nyembezi-Heita.

“In the long term, we will continue with our robust growth and retention strategy to develop positively as a company and we look forward to celebrating another 100 years of success for the Vereeniging Plant,” concludes Ms Nyembezi-Heita. ArcelorMittal, South Africa’s Vereeniging plant, marked its 100-year milestone with a celebration at its Vereeniging plant on September 3, where government, stakeholders and company employees attended to acknowledge this momentous occasion.

* ArcelorMittal South Africa was founded in 1928. It is a subsidiary of the world’s leading steel and mining company and Africa’s largest steel manufacturer. The company operates in 60 countries and employs approximately 260 000 people worldwide.

ArcelorMittal South Africa has a capacity of 7.8 million tonnes of liquid steel per annum with steel manufacturing and chemical plants in Newcastle, Pretoria, Saldanha, Vanderbijlpark and Vereeniging. The company employs approximately 10 000 staff members and contractors across

South Africa. The company produces carbon steel in both flat and long products which is supplied to all major steel-consuming industries and is used extensively in critical infrastructure projects.