Vallourec and Sumitomo Tubos do Brasil Ltda (VSB), a JV formed by Sumitomo Metal Industries, Sumitomo Corporation and Vallourec, began a test operation at their integrated seamless pipe steelworks. They successfully pierced their first billet at 9:00 p.m. local time on 11 December 2010. Following the completion of the rolling mill, the upstream facilities, including the charcoal blast furnaces will begin operation in the second quarter of 2011. Full operation as an integrated blast furnace steelworks will commence afterward. VSB intends to obtain approval from the American Petroleum Institute (API) and its customers to fully ramp up the steelworks by the first half of 2012 in order to meet the increasing demand for global energy development.