Belgium-based NLMK Clabecq, a leading producer of thin premium steel plates and part of the NLMK Group, has embarked on a 30 million euro project to upgrade its rolling mill. The company is a key player in the thin-gauge steel plate and in particular the quenched and tempered steel plates markets.

The revamping of the rolling mill includes the installation of a new descaling system with two new descalers and the modernization of the four stand finishing mill, which NLMK describes as 'a unique layout for plate producers'.

NLMK implemented the first part of its transformation plan last year. The aim now is to focus on thin gauge and high strength plus abrasion resistant plates.

"Despite the challenges of the current COVID crisis on the steel market, NLMK is going ahead with the roll out of its development plan," the company said. "The investments will allow the production of very thin plate in high strength ranges with better tolerances while reducing gas consumption and CO2 output".

NLMK Clabecq's focus is to allow customers to design lighter products that reduce life-cycle CO2 footprints.

According to NLMK, the investments will enable Clabecq to continue positioning itself as a key player in the thin-gauge steel market and provide customers with best-in-class surface, flatness and dimensional tolerances for the QUARD® and QUEND® range of products.

The modernization of the descaling system and the revamping of the finishing mill will be completed in late 2021.

Ben de Vos, vice president of international operations for NMLK, said that the investments will strengthen the position of NLMK Clabecq by further enhancing the QUARD® and QUEND® product ranges.

"The project also reflects the confidence and commitment of the NLMK Group to develop continuously our products and our business, despite the current crisis. It will support our drive towards producing steel for a greener future and will enable customers to reduce their environmental footprint,” he said.