15 September 2016 – Gerdau is eyeing the export market at its recently inaugurated heavy plate rolling operations at its Ouro Branco mill, as a way to overturn sluggish domestic demand. Half of the company s heavy plate production at its Ouro Branco mill, located in the city of same name in the state of Minas Gerais, has been destined to the export market. “What defines where wea are going to sell is demand, and today 50 percent of our output is exported” said Rodrigo Belloc Soares, Gerdau’s head of Brazilian industrial steel. Carlos Hamilton Pimenta, industrial director at Gerdau’s Ouro Branco mill, said that despite the recent start-up of the company’s heavy plate rolling mill, the steelmaker is already conducting tests with clients in England, Germany, Colombia and Paraguay. Pimenta said the wind power sector has been growing and should demand heavy plates. This year, Gerdau should produce 100,000 mt of heavy plates at its Ouro Branco mill. By 2017, we should have an important growth in heavy plate output and in three or four years from now the equipment should already be operating at its full capacity said Soares. Full capacity for heavy plate at the Ouro Branco mill is 1.1 million mt/year.