Russian steelmaker NLMK and its Walloon partner Sogepa have just announced a 150 million investment. The operation, planned in two stages during 2020 and 2021, is part of a three-year (2019-2021) 200 million investment plan for all Belgian sites.
The objective is to modernise the NLMK La Louvière hot rolling mill, the site's main tool, in order to deliver lighter, thinner and more resistant products, while also limiting energy consumption.
The tool, which is at the cutting edge of technology in the sector in Europe, will enable NLMK to increase its production volumes at La Louvière by 40%, at the same time expanding its range of higher added value products.
Renaud Witmeur, President of Sogepa
"This will certainly be the largest investment in Wallonia this year, and undoubtedly the second largest in the last ten years after Google in Ghlin."
Shareholders and management increased production by two and a half times between 2012 and 2019, which allowed this investment to happen. And, although this will not directly lead to the creation of new jobs, it will ensure the long-term future of activities and stabilise existing jobs.
This is the largest investment to date by the NLMK group in its industrial facilities in Belgium and by 2021, the group will have invested a total of 200 million in its three Walloon sites:
- NLMK La Louvière (rolling of flat products);
- NLMK Clabecq (medium and heavy steel plates);
- NLMK Manage Steel Center (distribution centre).