MMK is investing in abrasive blast cleaning equipment for rolling shop No 9, which houses its 5000mm Plate Mill. This will allow MMK to produce AB2-1 and AB2-2 shipbuilding steels, which have to undergo thorough surface cleaning on both sides.
In early 2012, MMK signed a contract for the blast cleaning equipment with Kolpino Research and Design Institute for Metallurgical Engineering. MMK expects an annual economic effect of RUB 80M ($2.47M), and a payback period of less than one year for this investment.
This investment project will expand MMK's range of steel products and is intended to boost the share of ship-building steel in the 5000mm Plate Mill (Mill 5000) production output. Mill 5000 began production in July 2009. It can produce almost any type of steel plate up to the maximum requirements for large-diameter pipes specified by Gazprom and Transneft of 50mm wall thickness and X120 ultra-high strength. The mill has the technical ability to produce steel for oil platforms operating in Arctic conditions, as well as for bridge-building, construction of furnaces, and ship steel, including for tankers, the Russian Navy and icebreakers.
In November 2011, MMK signed a strategic partnership agreement with United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) to collaborate on existing and new types of ship-building materials and establish a supply chain for MMK's products to USC. Boris Dubrovsky, CEO of MMK, said: "MMK already owns cutting-edge thick plate technology with Mill 5000, and we are determined to make inroads into the market for shipbuilding steel. We now have that opportunity, and are pleased to have reached an agreement with USC. MMK can meet in full the needs of Russia's ship-building industry, which is becoming a key driving force in the national economy."