NLMK, a global steelmaking company, announced the successful completion of guarantee tests and the subsequent commissioning of its new 3.4 million tonnes per year blast furnace #7 (BF-7). The total value of the project exceeded RUR 43 billion.
The new blast furnace is the first to have been built in Russia in the past 25 years, and is the largest project implemented within the framework of NLMK’s Technical Upgrade Programme. Following the commissioning of BF-7, as well as a new basic oxygen furnace (BOF), NLMK’s steel output at the Lipetsk site is expected to increase by 36% to 12.4 million tonnes.
2.4 million tonnes of pig iron were produced during the 10 months of industrial testing, confirming the blast furnace’s full compliance with the design parameters. Benchmarked against its closest international peers, BF-7 enables higher labor productivity, lower fuel consumption and better product quality. The entire technological process is based on the most advanced environmental and resource-saving technologies available, including highly efficient dedusting systems and a closed water cycle. Blast furnace gas is used as a raw material for the generation of energy at NLMK’s new 150 MW recovery co-generation plant. All slag is reprocessed into crushed stone to be used in road construction.
The project was undertaken in cooperation with engineering company Paul Wurth (Luxembourg). The construction phase lasted three years and involved over 70 construction and assembly companies. The blast furnace benefitted from innovative solutions from Russian and foreign engineers, making the production complex construction project one of the best examples of efficient international cooperation in recent years.
Over 80,000 tonnes of steel constructions and over 28,000 tonnes of process equipment have been installed during the BF-7 construction. C. 26,000 tonnes of refractories were used. C. 2,300 experts from 23 design companies participated in engineering design. Up to 5,000 people were involved at the site on a daily basis. All construction was implemented by Russian contractor companies. The BF-7 team consists of 268 employees: 72 skilled workers have been transferred from other blast furnace production facilities, and 196 new ones have been hired. A total of 1,580 new workplaces have been created with the BF launch.
NLMK is an international vertically-integrated steelmaking company with production facilities located in Russia, Europe and the U.S. The liquid steel capacity of its operating units exceeds 15 million tonnes per year. The company generated $11.7 billion of revenues and a 19.5% EBITDA margin for the full year 2011. Its shares and GDSs are traded on the MICEX-RTS and LSE, respectively.