Company officials: Plant will create a #8216;ripple effect#039;

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 12, 2007

Special to the Advocate

The decision to base its new plant in Alabama was approved this morning by ThyssenKrupp AG's Supervisory Board during its meeting in Dusseldorf, Germany.

Initially planned as a $2.9 billion investment, ThyssenKrupp also announced today that it will now invest $3.7 billion in this facility. The increased investment primarily results from a rise in both steel and stainless steel capacity, as well as the installation of additional equipment to allow further diversification of the product portfolio.

&#8220Thanks to Governor Riley and everyone who has been part of this project, we are excited to call Alabama home today,” Peter Urban, Vice Chairman of the ThyssenKrupp Steel Executive Board, said. &#8220The planned facility in Alabama is a key component of ThyssenKrupp Steel’s forward strategy for profitable growth. We are confident that the plant will position us to maximize our competitiveness in the North American market through a combination of cost and technology leadership.”

Michael Rademacher, Vice Chairman and CFO of ThyssenKrupp Stainless, said. &#8220This facility represents the largest investment in the history of ThyssenKrupp Stainless. While our direct entry to the US market is perhaps a bold step, it is also a logical and forward-looking one. The stainless steel market throughout the NAFTA region offers significant potential, and we are now poised to further strengthen our position.”

Alabama Governor Bob Riley noted, &#8220With this project, Alabama and ThyssenKrupp are making history. A project this size, with this amount of economic impact, comes along perhaps once in a generation. It is transformational, and we thank our partners at ThyssenKrupp, our state and local economic development team, and Alabama's outstanding workforce for making our success possible.”

ThyssenKrupp conducted extensive due diligence and negotiations to select a location for the construction of a new facility in the United States. The process began in February 2006 with 67 potential sites in 20 states. From the initial sites, ThyssenKrupp confined its search to locations in 2 three states: Alabama, Arkansas and Louisiana. In February of this year, the company announced that it narrowed its search to two states, Alabama and Louisiana.

The decision to select Alabama was made based on the criteria the company has been using in the site selection process. Decisive factors included logistical considerations of the company's supply chain from Brazil to our projected customers; operating costs such as electricity and labor; and site specific capital expenditures.

&#8220This was a very difficult decision. Louisiana made an excellent proposal and has many important and valuable attributes for business development,” noted Bob Soulliere, President and CEO of ThyssenKrupp Steel and Stainless USA. &#8220Governor Blanco and her team made a tremendous effort and the professional approach of officials in Louisiana made our decision all the more difficult. We thank the Louisiana team for their hard work, dedication and commitment to the selection process.”

Soulliere continued, &#8220We recognize this announcement comes as a disappointment to many people in Louisiana, particularly those who worked so hard on this project. But we believe the economic ripple effects of the new plant will benefit the wider regional economy as well.”

The new plant complex, which is scheduled to begin operations in 2010, is expected to be one of the largest private industrial development projects in the United States over the next decade.

Construction is expected to begin by the end of the year. Throughout the process, ThyssenKrupp will post updates on its website,, about employment and vendor opportunities.