Mechel Launches Upgraded Steelmaking Equipment at Chelyabinsk Metallurgical Plant

Mechel reports on launching two upgraded key facilities at Chelyabinsk Metallurgical Plant (part of Mechel Group) – blast furnace #4 and converter #1. Investment totaled 4.5 billion rubles.

Presidential Plenipotentiary Representative in Russia’s Urals Federal District Nikolai Tsukanov, Chelyabinsk Region’s Governor Alexei Texler, Chairman of Mechel PAO’s Board of Directors Igor Zyuzin and Mechel PAO’s Chief Executive Officer Oleg Korzhov took part in the official ceremony. MechelPAO’s honored guests and top officials pressed a symbolic button launching the upgraded blast furnace #4 and converter #1. Their upgrade is a large-scale project that is part of the quadripartite ecological agreement signed by Mechel, Russia’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Federal Supervisory Natural Resources Management Service and Chelyabinsk Region’s government, and are listed among ecological measures of the federal Clean Air program.

“Last year Chelyabinsk Region’s government, Federal Supervisory Natural Resources Management Service, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and Mechel signed an ecological agreement. Chelyabinsk Metallurgical Plant’s reconstructed facilities that we saw today were the result of that. The converter’s upgrade will certainly make a positive impact on Chelyabinsk’s ecology, with its waste emissions down by a third while its output is up by 15%. I would like to wish the plant to continue with its development,” Presidential Plenipotentiary Representative in Russia’s Urals Federal District Nikolai Tsukanov noted.

“Today is a great and important event for our region. One of our key producers – Mechel – reconstructed one of its blast furnaces and a converter. The upgrade of these facilities makes the plant more environment friendly and brings down waste emissions. My congratulations with this important event,”Chelyabinsk Region’s Governor Alexei Texlernoted.

Both facilities were practically rebuilt as part of the technical upgrade. It included full dismantling of the blast furnace and all equipment, assembly of a new jacket and cone, replacement of the furnace brickwork and cooling system, installment of a new equipment for loading iron ore and coke, as well as a modern automated operating system – now all of the furnace’s parameters are subject to computer control and are displayed on a monitor. Improving environment friendliness was a particular concern during the revamp, with a new three-step gas cleaning system installed. It is fully leak-proof and prevents combustion gases from escaping into the atmosphere. Blast-furnace gas that is formed during pig iron smelting is then used as fuel. The blast furnace #4’s capacity is 1.1 million tonnes of pig iron a year. Investment in its upgrade totaled 1.5 billion rubles. Mechel now launched the second stage of its upgrade – construction of a suction system for the casthouse, which will completely prevent leaks of any solids from the blast furnace #4 into the atmosphere.

Works at the converter #1 included replacing the converter’s vessel shell, cooling stack and flux handling route for smelting weight increase and steelmaking efficiency. The upgrade also tackled one of its key tasks, providing the converter with a modern three-step gas cleaning system, which enables the plant to minimize emissions of waste produced in the steelmaking process. The converter’s annual capacity is 1.3 million tonnes. Investment in its upgrade totaled 3 billion rubles, with 1.5 billion of those funding ecological measures that will decrease the converter’s waste emissions by more than 30%.

After the converter #1’s upgrade and once the second stage of the blast furnace #4’s technical upgrade is complete, Chelyabinsk Metallurgical Plant’s total waste emissions will go down by 116 tonnes a year.

“We are grateful to Mechel for their trust in our ability to handle such technically complicated works. Our company invested maximum effort to complete the upgrade ahead of schedule. The upgraded facilities will be more efficient, with environment friendliness improved,” Andrey Deineko, Chief Executive Officer of contractor MetPromcompany, noted.

“Blast furnaces and oxygen converters are key facilities for Chelyabinsk Metallurgical Plant. Three blast furnaces provide the plant with pig iron for further steelmaking handled by converters. Reconstruction of the blast furnace #4 and converter #1 are the most large-scale projects implemented at Mechel Group’s Chelyabinsk production site since 2013. After this upgrade, both facilities will increase their capacity by 15%, which will enable us to increase the load on the next stages of our technological chain – the steelmaking and rolling facilities. At the same time, it is important that the ecological measures we have taken will minimize these facilities’ impact on the environment,” Mechel PAO’s Chief Executive Officer Oleg Korzhov noted.