ArcelorMittal Frýdek-Místek Celebrates 180 Years of Operation
The foundations of the former Válcovny plechu Frýdek-Místek were laid in 1833 by Archduke Charles Ludwig through the Těšín chamber. The Charles Ironworks, which was the name of the company at the time of its foundation, became first the most important metallurgical plant of the Těšín chamber and later it became the largest producer of fine steel sheets in the Czechoslovakia, producing more than 3 million tonnes of sheets each year. In the 1970s the plate rolling mill became a leading producer of special grain oriented steel which today is produced only by twelve other companies in the world.
“On the occasion of the 180th anniversary I would like to express my thanks to all people who have contributed to the fact that we can celebrate this important anniversary. I am proud that we as the only company in this country and one of only thirteen companies in the world can produce something as unique as grain oriented steel,” said Dirk Stroo, the CEO of AMFM.
The history of the company started back in 1833 when the Těšín chamber built the Charles Ironworks in Lískovec near Frýdek-Místek. The Ironworks had six blacksmith shops driven by water wheels. The first sheet which made the Ironworks famous in the next century was rolled in 1851. However, during its 180-year-long history the company was not focusing only on sheet production. In the 1960s three thousand files per day was produced there. During the First World War, 600,000 mine grenades left the gates of the factory. In the period during the wars the company became the largest manufacturer of fine steel sheets in the entire central Europe. In 1937 the volume of sheet production reached 28,000 tonnes a year.
After the Second World War the company was modernized and the cold rolling mill with two four-high stands was built. The most important investments were implemented after the change of the owner in 2007 when the company became a subsidiary of ArcelorMittal Ostrava. First the company ended production of hot-rolled sheets and has continued with the cold rolling phase only. The facilities for production of grain oriented steel where modernized with investments amounting to approximately 1.6 billion crowns. Between 2007 and 2009 the company built new furnaces for high temperature annealing, a coating line and a thermal leveling line. A significant portion of the investments was directed also to the area of environment, waste management and regeneration of resources.
Sheet production in AMFM continues, but today they are rolled by the cold rolling process. This is a distinct rolling process the result of which is sheets with a smooth surface and a high precision. The sheets are used in mechanical engineering or in the automotive industry.
ArcelorMittal Frýdek-Místek (formerly Válcovny plechu Frýdek-Místek) is a subsidiary of ArcelorMittal Ostrava. The company is a significant producer of cold rolled steels. The core products of the company are grain oriented sheets for power industry and grain non oriented sheets. The company exports most of its electrical steels abroad. Currently the company has 660 employees including subsidiary ArcelorMittal Technotron and Válcovna za studena in Ostrava Vítkovice.
ArcelorMittal Ostrava a.s. is the largest steelmaker in the Czech Republic and part of the world’s largest steel and mining group ArcelorMittal. It has an annual production capacity of 3 million tonnes of steel. Besides the Czech market, the company sells its products to more than 40 countries around the world. ArcelorMittal Ostrava and its subsidiaries employ more than 7500 people. Average income of its employees amounted to 34,213 CZK in 2012. ArcelorMittal Ostrava produces iron and steel in compliance with all environmental legislation. It already conforms to the EU best available techniques (BAT) emission limits that will come into force in 2016. The sole shareholder is ArcelorMittal Holdings A.G.