After last year’s excursion to China and South Korea this year’s took place on »European soil« again, namely in Belgium and France. Our first destination has been Amsterdam, where we’ve visited, after one day of acclimatisation, CORUS-Steel ljmuiden (now TATA-Steel) among other things steel mill, line for hot- rolled sheet, research centre and harbour site. The day after we took off for the world famous EECV in Rotterdam, the world’s largest bulk sea port in Europe, supplying metallurgical plants all over the world. There we had the chance to visit the »Berge Stahl Stavanger«, the world’s largest ore cargo ship, which was lying at anchor to land its 360 000 tons of goods.
Not only have we been swayed by the ship’s enormous dimensions but by the captain’s and his crew’s hospitality on board, which found its point of culmination in a delicious Indian feast. Very well fed, we commenced our journey to Moerdijk to Wuppermann Staal Nederland, where hot wide strips are continuously zinc-coated by means of a state of the art galvanising facility. Especially impressive, the plant’s distinct design in a very colourful manner. After a night in Antwerp the excursion’s fourth day led us to Saint Saulve, where we had the chance to see the Seamless-Tube Rolling Mill of »Vallourec-Mannesmann«, after that, we headed for the evening’s final notes with wine and dinner in an outstanding Brasserie in Valenciennes. On the next day we paid the profile shape manufacturer »Profilafroid« a visit, before the Main excursion of 2010 found its ending in Paris, where one could visit the Eiffel Tower, the Champs-Élysées, Notre Dame and other famous sights or just dive into the Parisian night-life.
Our thanks go to ASMET (Austrian Society for Metallurgy and Materials) for its support and especially to the companies and factories for the interesting insights and their outstanding hospitality.