ThyssenKrupp will delay the start of stainless steel production at its USD 4.5 billion Alabama plant because of economic conditions, but the move is not expected to affect carbon steel operations, which represent the lion’s share of the project. Company officials cited a sharp drop in demand for stainless steel in North America as the reason behind the move announced on 23 January 2009. Construction on the massive facility north of Mobile will continue, but production on the stainless side will be delayed by a year to take advantage of market conditions that are expected to improve later on. The stainless operations, which were scheduled to begin late this year with the start-up of cold-rolling works, have been pushed back to start in late 2010. ThyssenKrupp said the move does not affect existing employees. The company added that it is committed to the development of the Alabama project at the same or greater level of capital investment and jobs growth previously announced.