Chinese steelmaker Baosteel has been emphasising the energy-saving and environmental qualities of its new 8.93Mt/yr Zhanjiang steelworks, which is weeks away from start-up, according to a report by CRU News.

Baosteel’s director of energy and environmental protection explained that sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides will be removed from coke oven gas using a pioneering, domestically-developed system, and that heavy metals, dioxin, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides will be removed during the sintering process.

The mill will collect, use and recycle rainwater and employ all the energy-saving technologies at its disposal, including use of solar power and recycled gas from blast furnaces, coke ovens and converters.

Baosteel is investing RMB6.22bn (US$1bn) on energy-saving and environmental protection technology, which accounts for around an eighth of total capex on the plant. A further RMB 300 million (US$48.3 million) has been earmarked to comply with Guangdong's air pollution control action plan for 2014 and 2017.

Where by-products are concerned, sludge from water treatment can be used to make bricks or employed in the sintering process. Production slag can be used to produce cement and other building materials.

The Zhanjiang works is designed to have annual capacities of 8.23Mt/yr pig iron, 8.93Mt/yr crude steel and 6.89Mt/yr finished steel. The first lines are scheduled to go into operation from September and flat-rolled products are likely to be a major product line.

The Zhanjiang plant will replace 4.5mt/yr of outdated steel capacity in Guangdong. Baosteel plans to shut down 6Mt/yr of uncompetitive capacity in the Baoshan district of Shanghai.

According to CRU China Analyst Kevin Bai, the September start-up involves just a 5050 m3 blast furnace. Rolling lines and downstream mills will follow and they will focus on finished flat products and auto sheets. “The mill will definitely meet the government's environmental and emission requirements, while its advanced technology and recycling plants will become a domestic benchmark in steelmaking facilities," he said.