Usiminas Cubatão steel plant

From Global Energy Monitor


This article is part of the Global Steel Plant Tracker, a project of Global Energy Monitor.

Usiminas Cubatão steel plant (Usina siderúrgica Usiminas Cubatão) is an integrated steel plant in Cubatão, Sao Paulo, Brazil.[1] The plant's steel making operations have been idle since 2015 due to weakness in the Brazilian economy.[2]


The map below shows the location of the steel plant in Cubatão, on the coast of São Paulo state, Brazil.

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Usiminas (Usinas Siderurgicas de Minas Gerais SA) is Brazil's leading producer of flat steel, with access to 2.6 billion tons of iron ore reserves. The company began steel making operations in 1962 at its Usiminas Ipatinga steel plant in the mineral-rich state of Minas Gerais and subsequently acquired the Cubatão plant in 1993.[3] The company produces uncoated flat steel (plates, thick plates, hot and cold rolled), with customers in the railway, automotive, naval, agricultural, and civil construction sectors, among others.[4]

The Cubatão steel plant traces its origins to 1953, when a group of Brazilian engineers founded COSIPA (Companhia Siderúrgica Paulista) with the goal of constructing a São Paulo-based steel plant to rival the thriving new Presidente Vargas Steelworks in Volta Redonda. The project was initially launched with private capital, but its ambitious scope led to significant delays, and government investment was eventually required to ensure the plant's completion in December 1963. State ownership of the project rose from 58% in 1961 to 98.6% in 1970.[5]

The COSIPA plant grew steadily over its first three decades of operation, opening its own maritime terminal in 1969 and increasing production capacity from an initial level of 600,000 tpa in 1965 to 3.9 million tpa with the inauguration of the plant's second blast furnace in 1976.[5]

On August 20, 1993 COSIPA was privatized via an auction on the São Paulo Stock Exchange (BOVESPA), with a group of investors led by Usiminas taking control of the company. The new owners embarked on a campaign to modernize the plant, refurbishing blast furnace #2 and adding a new steel making facility in 2001 and taking several other measures to improve the plant's efficiency over the next decade.[5]

Amidst Brazil's financial crisis in October 2015, Usiminas announced that it was halting steel production at the Cubatão plant, with closure of the plant's two blast furnaces, coke plant and sintering plant. The thousands of resulting layoffs significantly impacted the local economy; however, operations continued at the plant's hot rolling and cold rolling lines, and at the hot strip mill.[6]

In April 2019, citing continued weakness in the Brazilian economy, Usiminas announced that steel production at the Cubatão plant would not resume until 2022 at the earliest.[2] In April 2020, operations at the plant's rolling mill were also suspended after Covid-19 shut down Brazil's auto-making industry, prompting a precipitous dropoff in demand for finished steel.[7] When steelmaking operations start up again, Cubatão's output is initially projected to be between 1 and 1.2 million tonnes per annum, well shy of its 4 million tpa capacity. [8]

Plant Details

Articles and resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Onde Estamos - Usiminas". Usiminas. Retrieved 2020-07-18.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 "Fraqueza na economia faz Usiminas adiar retorno de usina de Cubatão | Exame". Exame. April 18, 2019.
  3. "Techint Group companies expand their activities in Brazil". Techint Engineering & Construction. November 2011.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 "Production - Usiminas". Usiminas. Retrieved 2020-07-29.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Couto, Joaquim Miguel (January 2003). "Histórias e Lendas de Cubatão: A História Econômica de Cubatão". Novo Milênio.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 "Câmara de Cubatão cria comissão para discutir reativação dos alto-fornos da Usiminas". A Tribuna. April 13, 2019.
  7. "Parada de dois altos-fornos mostra Usiminas pessimista com retomada do consumo, dizem analistas". Valor Econômico. April 4, 2020.
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Usiminas seeks approval to expand output at Ipatinga, revive Cubatão | Valor International". Valor International. April 22, 2019.
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Principais Acionistas - Usiminas". Usiminas. Retrieved 2020-07-18.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 "Pocket Yearbook 2020: A Siderurgia em Números" (PDF). Instituto Aço Brasil. 2020.
  11. "Usiminas". CNM/CUT - Confederação Nacional dos Metalúrgico da CUT. Retrieved 2020-07-18.
  12. "Cosipa comemora 40 anos de produção, com inovações | Siderurgia & Mineração | Infomet". Infomet. Retrieved 2020-07-18.

External resources

External articles

This page uses material from the Wikipedia page Companhia Siderúrgica Paulista (Cosipa) under the provisions of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.