In response to soaring nickel prices that have seen users switch to duplex grades of stainless steel, Finland’s Outokumpu has announced a $715 million expansion program that will increase finished-product capacity at its Avesta works in Sweden from 250,000 tons per annum (TPA) to 650,000 TPA, mainly in duplex grades, through 2010. Outokumpu’s Lean Duplex (LDX 2101) grade contains 1.5% nickel, and its corrosion resistance is similar to standard austenic 304 grade but with twice the strength.

According to Industrial Information Resources (, Outokumpu claims market leadership in duplex-grade deliveries with a global market share of 50%.