Extremely cool business

Leslie McManus


Steel reinforcement in the walls and floor of a liquefied natural gas spill basin must retain mechanical properties at temperatures as low as –165º Celsius.


Stainless steel rebar formed from austenitic Outokumpu Core delivers high strength and corrosion resistance at temperatures as low as –196º Celsius.


Steel grade: Outokumpu Core 304LN/4311
Product form: Rebar

In Europe, liquefied natural gas (LNG) has been an increasingly important source of sustainable energy since the 1960s. Home to an extensive network of pipelines and state-of-the-art gas production and storage facilities, the Netherlands is becoming an important hub in the European gas trade and distribution industry.

Gate Terminal is the first LNG import terminal in the Netherlands. Located on a newly reclaimed 35-hectare site south of Maasvlakte on Rotterdam’s North Sea coast, the terminal consists of three storage tanks, two jetties and a process area. A 6- by 6-meter spill basin at the site must function faultlessly as a temporary holding tank in case of emergency, accident or disaster. It sounds simple, but liquefied natural gas must be held at temperatures as low as –165º Celsius. And that means the basin must be built of cryogenic concrete reinforced with rebar manufactured especially for very low cryogenic temperatures.


How low can it go?

For the rebar, project engineers selected Outokumpu Core 304LN/4311. As with all austenitic stainless steels, Core 304LN/4311 maintains its ductility at very cold temperatures, which means it will not fracture. That’s essential on a project like this.

To prevent leakage, the basin’s floor and walls must remain intact as cracks compromise the basin’s integrity and the rebar reinforcing the concrete. Core retains its mechanical properties at temperatures as low as –196º Celsius. For the Gate Terminal project, Outokumpu’s integrated production facility in Sheffield, England, produced 10 tonnes of rebar in several thicknesses and customized lengths and shapes.


Designed for long life

Core 304LN/4311 is corrosion-resistant, making it well suited to use in a maritime environment where chloride-induced corrosion is a threat. Because it increases the structure’s lifetime, the alloy also plays a role in reducing long-term costs and minimizing maintenance needs. Stainless steel rebar contributes to the reliability, efficiency and safe operation of a facility such as the Gate Terminal.

Because stainless steel is a sustainable material – it is 100% recyclable – making it a good partner for the LNG industry, which puts a high priority on protecting the environment.

Recommended products and insight

Building and infrastructure

Landmark buildings and bridges make a statement. When they’re built of stainless steel, that statement reflects an enduring legacy – a legacy of timeless beauty, exceptional strength and unmatched durability.


Building façade material selection is critically important. The material must be visually appealing, low maintenance and impervious to weather and pollution.


The Supra range contains stainless steel products designed for highly corrosive environments. Outokumpu Supra range stainless steels have a good resistance to uniform corrosion in many organic and inorganic chemicals. The addition of molybdenum enhances the alloy’s corrosion resistance in many acidic environments.


There is a wide variety of surface finishes available for our stainless steel products. Decorative cladding that perfectly matches the architect’s vision. Functional and decorative surfaces for elevators and other indoor spaces. 


Outokumpu's four value propositions: recycling maximized, nothing to hide, pays for itself and indispensability showcase Outokumpu's strengths, which answer to key sustainability needs. By selecting Outokumpu's stainless steel, our customers also benefit from these in their own sustainability efforts.

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