In February, the Chinese steel producer, Rizhao Steel Group Co., Ltd (Rizhao), rolled the first coil on the Arvedi ESP (Endless Strip Production) plant no. 1 supplied by Primetals Technologies. Earlier this year, the first casting as well as the rolling of the first plates were carried out successfully. The plant is designed for an annual production of 2.55 million metric tons of high quality, ultra-thin hot strip, in widths up to 1,600 millimeters and thickness down to 0.8 millimeters. The energy consumption is up to 45 percent lower than in a conventional casting and rolling process. The Arvedi ESP plants have put Rizhao in a position to open up the attractive domestic and foreign markets for high quality, thin-gauge products.