Korean steelmaker YK Steel, a subsidiary of Daehan Steel Company, has commissioned the German SMS group to supply a new minimill with integrated melting, casting, and rolling and including all electrical and automation systems.

The original plan was to relocate and upgrade an existing plant at the end of 2021, but the company opted instead for a completely new minimill and will benefit from state-of-the-art technologies as a result. The minimill will start production in 2025 at the company’s Dangjin site.

The strategic decision to build a new plant underscores the growth plans of parent company Daehan Steel Co., Ltd, which hopes that YK Steel Company will become one of the country’s market leaders in the rebar manufacturing sector. The new plant project also aims at achieving more sustainable production at minimal operating costs.

To produce the steel, YK Steel plans to use a 115-ton DC Edge® electric arc furnace and an Aura® charging system, which is operated with 100% steel scrap. The five-strand caster, which will produce square billets 150mm thick, can achieve casting speeds of up to 4m/minute thanks to SMS-group's CONVEX mold technology. The cast billets are conveyed into the downstream rolling mill via a hot-charging roller table. This is connected to a walking beam furnace that offers a production capacity of 140 tons/hr of billets and is fitted with low-NOx recuperative burners. The rolling mill consists of 18 new housingless stands and a water cooling system for controlling the rolled stock temperature as well as for quenching.

YK Steel will use the new plant to produce rebar with diameters ranging from 10-35mm.

The products manufactured in the minimill will be sold as six to 12m long part-packages with a maximum weight of 450kg to 550 kg and large packages weighing up to two tons.