Usiminas advances in the rail segment

Usiminas Mecânica, a capital goods division of the Minas Gerais-based steel and mining conglomerate, started 2011 with a portfolio of contracts to be executed as from this year totaling a volume between US$ 537 million and US$ 600 million, says the Superintendent of the subsidiary of Usiminas, Guilherme Muylaert Antunes. This is a strong indication that the products with greatest added value should grow within the general income of the company, in the short term.

In the nine first months of the year, the capital goods division of Usiminas made a total of US$ 627 million, which is 10% of the group’s total turnover. In the same period in 2009, the turnover came to US$ 394 million. The profit margin before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), however, has stayed below that obtained in other segments of the holding company, such as mining and steel production.

As from this year, Usiminas Mecânica will be meeting orders in Cubatão (SP), for pre-salt investments, and also in Ipatinga (MG), for machines in what is called the yellow line, such as belt tractors and harvesters. In the company’s strategic planning, the physical production of this division will double by 2015.

Specifically for 2011, the expectations of growth are within the forecasts made for the Brazilian GDP, said Mr. Muylaert. Last year, the executive reckons that Usiminas Mecânica processed 170 thousand tons of steel, of which 96 thousand in thick sheet, which is about 10% of Usiminas’ production for the domestic market. The target for 2015 is to triple the invoicing in relation to 2009.

Yesterday, Usiminas informed that their capital goods division has finalized another five supply contracts, at a total value of US$ 170 million. This income will be received over between six and 18 months. Mr. Muylaert did not wish to inform the values by contract, but the largest will be that of serving the new Açominas lamination unit, of the Gerdau Group, in the city of Ouro Branco (MG). In partnership with Codeme, Usiminas Mecânica will erect the industrial building which will occupy a total area of 110 thousand square meters. This division will also provide components for 180 wind towers for Gestamp Windsteel, in the city of Suape (PE) and also metallic structures for work that Odebrecht is carrying out, also in Pernambuco.

The company is also growing in the rail segment. This year, the group is starting to supply materials for the double-tracking of the Carajás Railroad (in the State of Pará), owned by Vale.

Usiminas has won a contract to supply and install six metallic bridges. The rail transport area is one of the main areas of metal-casting investment that Usiminas completes this year, in its Ipatinga Plant. “In the future we plan to step up our supply of trucks for railroad cars”, said Mr. Muylaert, referring to a kind of component for latching. The new foundry unit in Ipatinga will have the capacity to process 40 thousand tons of steel, and for this year Mr. Muylaert expects there to be the processing of 15 thousand tons. The foundry unit makes it possible to cast metal pieces weighing up to 70 tons.

The subsidiary has also won the bidding process for the supply of six steel spheres to the petrochemical complex of Rio de Janeiro (Comperj), which Petrobras is now constructing in the State.

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