By Kari Williamson

ERASTEEL, which produces high speed steel through gas atomised powder metallurgy, says the expansion will enable it to extend its product range to new steel grades, such as stainless steel, nickel and cobalt alloys, and to reach new, fast growing markets.

The plant's capacity will now reach 14,000 tonnes per year.

ERAMET Alloys is commissioning four strategic facilities in 2011: powder metallurgy in Sweden, titanium, aluminium and nickel alloys in France, for a total capital expenditure of around €120 million.

Patrick BUFFET, Chairman and CEO of the ERAMET Group, says: "This investment in a very innovative technology opens new opportunities for ERASTEEL. ERAMET benefits from its new technologies to bring to the market new, high performance solutions in the form of gas atomized powders of highly alloyed steels. Sweden holds key competencies in the field of powder metallurgy. This new investment shows our commitment to serve in the long term fast growing markets, like tooling, energy and in particular oil and gas."