Vietnam's Formosa Ha Tinh has started selling billet in the domestic market from its new mill in Ha Tinh province, Kallanish notes.
The new semi-continuous billet mill started operations in the middle of the year and has a design capacity of 1 million tonnes/year in the first phase, which can be doubled to 2 million t/y in the second phase, according to equipment supplier SMS. In the same first phase for long products, the company has installed a wire rod and bar mill as well as a wire rod mill. Each mill has an installed 600,000 t/y capacity.
The company is producing 150mm square billet and has so far been targeting to sell only to the domestic market. At this time, the meltshop has not reached its rated capacity and this is expected sometime next year. Also, there are plans to export billet next year.
Formosa is running two blast furnaces at the plant, each of 3.5m t/y capacity, and started operating its second furnace in May 2018. With full operations of the two furnaces, the company plans to produce around 5.2m t/y of hot rolled coil and 1.2m t/y of wire rod. The remaining output of 600,000 t/y would be billet.
Meanwhile, increasing acceptance of Formosa billet has depressed buying interest for imported scrap, market sources tell Kallanish.