The blast furnace at ArcelorMittal’s Zenica plant in Bosnia was successfully restarted and hot metal production resumed after what Danieli describes as a ‘comprehensive rebuilding’.

The two companies signed a contract for the project in early 2017 as part of a modernisation programme that included upgrades for downstream as well as upstream facilities.

According to Danieli, the 2000m2 blast furnace was rebuilt according to its existing design from the tuyere belt upwards. The hearth was revamped based on a new design and included repairs to parts of the hot blast system and cast house, as well as upgrades to the furnace’s process instrumentation.

Danieli claims that the rebuilt furnace will boast an annual output of 1.1Mt of hot metal and says that ‘substantial headroom capacity’ has been accommodated for in the design.

A ceremony, entitled The Future Begins Here, attracted over 200 guests, including the Prime Ministers of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Biju Nair, ArcelorMittal Zenica’s CEO, described the rebuilding of the steel mill’s number four blast furnace as ‘another very important step on our journey to build a long-term, sustainable future for steelmaking in this great industrial city, Zenica’. He added that it confirms the company’s commitment to the future.

Nair added: “We love these steelworks, and the truth is that we feel insecure when the blast furnace is out of operation. I would like to thank the management of ArcelorMittal who started this project in these rough times.”

Nico Bleijendaal, CEO of Danieli Corus, said that the company specialised in furnace rebuilding. “Considering the fact that it is a complicated 24-hour, technically demanding job, with many technical and safety challenges, it is now always possible to maintain a team spirit to the end, but in this case, it happened.”