Outokumpu expands stainless steel service center in France

PRESS RELEASE February 7, 2008 at 9.15 a.m. In order to improve service to French stainless steel customers, and in line with the strategy to increase sales to end-users and project customers, Outokumpu will expand its stock and processing capability in France. The project will entail the relocation of the current coil service center from Azay sur Cher some 40 km east to new premises in Noyers sur Cher in Central France. New cutting equipment will be installed to enable the processing of stainless steel plate, as well. The combined coil and plate processing capacity of standard and special stainless steel grades will be 40 000 tons per year, and it will be in place by the end of 2009. The total investment is some EUR 14 million over two years. Says Gerard Sourjous: "The French stainless steel customers have shown the tendency to deal with close-by service centers rather than directly with mills. To answer this call, the expanded service center in Noyers sur Cher will be able to serve customers with timely deliveries of products that are tailored to their individual needs. The service center's product portfolio will include both standard and special (e.g. duplex and lean duplex) stainless steel grades of coil and plate, which are polished and cut to required dimensions and shapes. Furthermore, by 2010 at the latest, the French market will be served with Outokumpu's ferritic grades and bright annealed products from the adjacent new service center in Southern Germany as well as from Italy." For further information, please contact: Gerard Sourjous, General Manager, Outokumpu France, tel. +33 1 5319 4200 Robert van der Woude, Project Manager, tel. +46 70 65 65 673 Eero Mustala, VP - Project Communications, tel. +358 40 504 5146