Russian steelmaker NLMK Group has been ranked third in the Top 20 Energy Efficient Companies annual ranking, compiled by Expert RA and based on performance data for 600 leading Russian companies.

“Steelmaking is an energy-intensive industry, where expenditure on energy in integrated companies reaches 10-12% of production costs," said Sergey Chebotarev, the company's vice president for energy. "This drives us to systematically improve the energy efficiency of our facilities. We have made steelmaking processes less energy-intensive. We are also using secondary energy resources, including by-product gases, in heat and power generation. BAT solutions aimed at optimising energy consumption, reduction of costs and rational use of resources boost efficiency along the entire production chain.”

Specific energy intensity of steel production at NLMK Lipetsk has decreased by 23% since 2000, down to 5.47 Gcal per tonne of steel at the end of 2018.

NLMK Group has invested billions of rubles in several dozen large-scale energy efficiency projects since 2000. One particular outcome of such projects was to enable recovery of secondary fuel gases for in-house steam and power generation – the share of secondary energy sources is now 82%.

Optimized turbine generator repair time and improved cooling system operation resulted in a higher share of in-house generation at NLMK Lipetsk, up from 30% in 2000 to 58% in 2018. Over the same period, in-house power generation from by-product gases increased almost 2.5-fold, to 357 MW.

A project is currently underway at NLMK Lipetsk to build a new recovery co-generation plant powered mostly by by-product gases from steelmaking operations. This will unlock further efficiencies in utilising secondary resources, reduce the environmental footprint and energy costs, and increase NLMK Lipetsk energy self-sufficiency to 95%.