This article is about a company; for the Finnish city, see Outokumpu, Finland.
Outokumpu Oyj
Type Julkinen osakeyhtiö
Traded as OMXOUT1V
Industry Basic resources, technology
Founded 1932
Headquarters Espoo, Finland
Key people Ole Johansson (Chairman), Juha Rantanen (President and CEO)
Products Stainless steel and related technologies
Revenue €4.229 billion (2010)[1]
Operating income decrease (€83 million) (2010)[1]
Profit decrease (€123 million) (2010)[1]
Total assets €5.633 billion (end 2010)[1]
Total equity €2.376 billion (end 2010)[1]
Employees 8,100 (end 2010)[1]
Website www.outokumpu.com

Outokumpu is a group of companies headquartered in Espoo, Finland, aimed at stainless steel. The company has approx. 8 000 employees in about 30 different countries worldwide. For several decades Outokumpu was known mainly as a mining and metallurgical company, but now the only operational mine is in Kemi for chromium ore, which is directly used to produced ferrochrome for an input of the stainless steel production.



In 1908, a large deposit of copper ore was discovered in Outokumpu, in Northern Karelia. The company was established to develop the now-exhausted mine. In the 1940s the company developed the flash smelting process for smelting copper.

In 1992 British Steel Stainless merged with the Swedish firm Avesta (as in Avesta Municipality) to form Avesta Sheffield, and in 2001 merged with Outokumpu, making it the third largest stainless steel producing company in the world at the time. The new company was owned by Corus Group, institutional Swedish investors and the Finnish company Outokumpu. The new company was named AvestaPolarit, with headquarters in Stockholm. In 2004 Outokumpu bought the shares owned by Corus, so AvestaPolarit became a wholly owned subsidiary of the Outokumpu Group. AvestaPolarit was also removed from the stock exchanges in Helsinki and in Stockholm, since there was now only one company named Outokumpu with its headquarters in Espoo.

Until ca 2000 the turnover of copper products was bigger than that of the stainless steels products. The copper branch, excluding the Copper Tube and Brass division, was sold in 2005. Currently this company (former Outokumpu Copper) is known as Luvata International. The zinc branch was merged with the Swedish company Boliden but later, in 2005, Outokumpu sold all Boliden shares. The coldrolling mill in Sheffield was closed on the 31st March 2008, as one of the consequences of the company-wide fixed cost reduction (by 10%). The meltshop in Sheffield continues producing material for long products. The Copper tube and Brass division was sold to Cupori Group Oy in April 2008[2]

At the end of September 2001, Outokumpu Technology finalized the Lurgi Metallurgie acquisition. In June 2006, Outokumpu Technology was spun off as a separate entity Outotec.

Avesta Works

Avesta has a long history in steelmaking, just like Sheffield in the UK. There is a melting shop, hot rolling for heavy plates, hot rolling for 2000 mm width coils by Steckel-mill and cold rolling mills.

Avesta has developed many special stainless steel grades, high-alloy austenitic and duplex grades, optimised for good formability, weldability and high corrosion resistance.

Thin Strip Nyby

Nyby Ironworks in Torshälla was founded in 1829 by Adolf Zethelius, but ironworking on the site is first documented already in the 15th century when the Bishop of nearby Strängnäs founded hammer forges by the waterfall near Nyby. Nyby has long since abandoned ordinary steel in favour of cold rolled Stainless steel, concentrating heavily on special grades.

Tornio Works

The biggest production facilities are located in the integrated mills of Tornio Works, in a small town Tornio on the coast of Gulf of Bothnia. Tornio Works produces hot rolled and cold rolled coils and sheets cut from coil, with an annual output of one million tonnes. The main marketing area is EU. Up to 85 pct of the products are exported all around the world. Tornio site consists of ferrochromium smelting, two steelmeltingshops, hot rolling mill and two cold rolling mills. The steel works were built in 1975–1976. The first stainless cast was made in May 1976, week 19, thus it has got the heat number 61901. An alleged money laundering controversy related to export practices to Russia involving Tornio works is being reviewed by the District Court of Kymenlaakso in Kouvola since 22 March 2011. ML Tornio Court Hearings

UK sites

Outokumpu currently has three sites in the United Kingdom, in Sheffield, Stocksbridge and Blackburn.

In 1950 Firth Vickers and Samuel Fox set up a joint works for cold rolling stainless steel at Shepcote Lane, Sheffield (government restrictions prevented both firms importing the equipment from the USA). In 1967 the industry was nationalised, with the stainless steel operation of the business subsequently being branded as British Steel Stainless. Firth Vickers previously marketing their Stainless steel under the "Staybrite" brand.

In 2005, it was announced that the cold-rolling and finishing units (Coil Products Sheffield) on Shepcote Lane were to close, with the loss of over 600 jobs. Production ceased in the first half of 2006. However the company still has operations in the UK including a melting shop, special strip cold rolling and finishing, bar rolling and UK distribution.

At the end of March 2008 production ceased at its Stocksbridge site, the work transferring to its Meadowhall site so ending about 80 years of rolling razor strip at Stocksbridge.


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