Reuters reported that ThyssenKrupp is investing USD 60 million to implement measures that would help reduce dust particle emissions from its new plant in Brazil.
It may be noted that Brazil had asked ThyssenKrupp to operate the plant at only 70% of capacity after the facility, located in the state of Rio de Janeiro, released some dust particles into the air in December and July.
A ThyssenKrupp spokesman said that 'The amount will be used to improve the dusting system at the emergency pits and to install a second overhead travelling train to transport iron into the converters.'
ThyssenKrupp said that the plant, in which Brazilian mining company Vale holds a 27% stake, is the first major steel mill to be built in the country since the mid 1980s. The USD 6.6 billion plant's first blast furnace came on line in last June and the second in December.
Brazil's environment ministry had also requested Brazilian steelmaker Usiminas to conduct an examination of ThyssenKrupp's new plant starting in the middle of January before the government could grant its final approval for the German company to operate the new plant at full capacity.
The spokesman said that 'Usiminas should be able to complete its audit by end of this month. And then after that a few more weeks for the government to grant its final approval.'
He said ThyssenKrupp was still negotiating with Brazilian authorities to reduce the EUR 1.2 million fine imposed on the company after the plant released the dust particles in the air in December 2010.
He said that ThyssenKrupp intends to operate the plant at full capacity during its fiscal year October 1st 2011 to September 30th 2012. It is currently operating at between 50% and 70%. The plant's maximum output is about 14,600 tonnes of pig iron per day, which are shipped to the United States and Europe for processing into steel.