Steel Yourself for this Big Ticket Item

German steelmaking giant ThyssenKrupp, which rocked Alabama with construction of a $5 billion plant near the Mobile-Washington county line, announced in mid-May that the facility and a sister plant in Brazil may be up for sale. Negotiations for sale of the stainless mill are already in progress.

CEO Heinrich Hiesinger said “economic parameters” had changed since the plants were conceived and there are now “clear reasons” to reconsider.

Meanwhile Deutschlandfunk, a national radio station in Germany, quoted Hiesinger saying that his company is looking to diversify into more technology projects. 

Hiesinger came to ThyssenKrupp from Siemens, one of Germany’s most prominent industrial technology companies, and the steelmaker’s former leader is now leading the Siemens’ board of directors.

In addition to floundering steel prices, the German radio piece quotes a German market analyst saying that the Alabama and Brazil projects have technical problems, costs “far too high” and “it’s difficult to see how it’s going to get a grip on the situation.”

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German sources predicted a major announcement from ThyssenKrupp about mid-May.

By Nedra Bloom

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