Russian steelmaker NLMK Group, a global player with operations in Russia, the USA and the European Union, has begun construction and assembly works at its energy infrastructure and gas treatment units in Lipetsk. The work is taking place at steelmaking shop (BOF Shop) No.2 (current capacity is 8.5Mt/yr) as part of a large-scale blast furnace (BF) and basic oxygen furnace (BOF) upgrade.
According to NLMK, these activities are part of a large-scale project to reconstruct the largest of the company’s two BOF shops, that will enable a productivity increase of 19% to 10Mt/yr of steel. Specific air emissions will be cut by 56% by 2020, claims the steelmaker.
Konstantin Lagutin, NLMK Group’s vice president of investment projects, said that the reconstruction addressed ‘a whole set of NLMK Group strategic objectives’, including production output growth and efficiency improvements. “We are not only going to boost productivity of two of the shop’s three BOFs and radically cut emissions; we are also going to enable the use of BOF gases for captive energy generation,” he said.
There will be a phased replacement of BOF No.2 and No.3, increasing capacity from 300 tonnes each to 330 tonnes; new oxygen supply machines will be installed, and advanced process automation and analysis systems for off-gases will be implemented. Each of the new BOFs will be equipped with gas-exhaust ducts with emission recovery and treatment systems.
The recovery system will operate based on a high-efficiency process with the use of a finely dispersed water supply. Treated water reuse will ensure a two-fold reduction in water consumption. Special screens and exhaust systems will reduce the dust content at work places by over 95%.
The project – part of a previously announced major repairs programme and partial reconstruction at Lipetsk – will be completed in 2020 and is estimated to cost RUB17.2 billion.
Similar reconstruction work was completed at BOF Shop No.1 in 2011 resulting in a 61% reduction of specific emissions.