Danieli Corus BV based in IJmuiden, The Netherlands, has commissioned Blast Furnace No 5 built for SAIL (Steel Authority of India Ltd) at their Rourkela (Odisha, India) steel plant.

The blast furnace was built by a consortium consisting of Danieli Corus and Tata Projects Ltd and is currently India’s largest Blast Furnace. The first hot metal was tapped after 27 hours.

The furnace has an output of around 8000 tonnes of hot metal per day and is designed for a twenty year campaign. It is part of a 1.75M Euro expansion programme at the Rourkela Steel Plant. Engineering, supplies and construction of the Furnace have taken five years.

This is the fourth greenfield Blast Furnace project completed by Danieli Corus in India. Previously, three smaller Blast Furnaces were built for private companies, of which the one operated by Jindal Steel & Power Ltd. has been the country’s best performing Blast Furnace over the past years. In addition, Danieli Corus has executed substantial revamp and repair projects on the Blast Furnaces operated by Tata Steel at their Jamshedpur plant. An order for a fifth greenfield project in India was received from the mining company NMDC in 2011. This state owned mining company is diversifying into the steel industry and is developing a new integrated plant at Nagarnar. Danieli Corus is currently building the Blast Furnace, which will be larger than the SAIL Rourkela. The NMDC furnace is expected to be commissioned in 2015.

Steel demand in India is vast, given the country’s economic growth of 5.3% p.a. Steel consumption per capita remains substantially lower than that in, for example, China. Infrastructural and urban development projects feed India’s hunger for steel and the country remains an important market for Danieli Corus, accounting for around 50% of the company’s turnover.