Austrian steel-based technology company voestalpine invested a record 1.18 billion euros (1.33 billion U.S. dollars) in facilities for the financial year 2014-2015, company CEO Wolfgang Eder said at an annual financial results press conference on Wednesday.
Eder said the record sum was part of the company's strategy to build internationally, and brings investments in foreign countries up from below 20 percent in 2005-2006, to now over 50 percent.
These investments include the construction of its 620-million-dollar direct reduction plant in Corpus Christi, Texas, U.S., which is the largest single foreign investment ever made by the company, and the largest ever made by an Austrian company in the United States.
Eder said the project was about 50 percent completed, with 1,300 personnel currently working at the construction site. It should be completed by year's end, and trial operations are set to begin in the first quarter of 2016, with 80 percent of the production to come from the plant during that quarter already pre-sold.
The CEO said such a plant would have cost over 200 million dollars more in Austria or elsewhere in Europe. While 70 percent of its sales occurred in Europe, and over 50 percent in Austria alone over the past fiscal year, this will also change with the eight to nine new plants currently being constructed in China and North America.
These will primarily construct auto parts, he said, and should increase revenues from outside of Europe over the long term, potentially to over 50 percent between 2020 and 2030.
"We will keep what we have in Austria and Europe, but growth will take place elsewhere," Eder added. Enditem