Russian steelmaker OAO Severstal has officially opened its Balakovo Long Product Mill in Russia's Saratov region. The mill will produce long products for the construction industry and is billed as one of the company's largest investment projects in recent years.

The ceremony was attended by the Governor of the Saratov region, Valeriy Radaev and Severstal's CEO, Sergey Toropov, who said that the mill was a 'cutting edge production plant designed to meet all the requirements and challenges of modern steel manufacturing'.

According to Toropove, maximum cost efficiency on site was ensured by the mill's strategic location, which offers efficient access to raw materials and infrastructure as well direct access to favourable markets. "Innovative production technology will ensure that the mill's environmental impact and energy consumption are significantly lowered," he added.

The Balakovo mill is the first of its kind in the Volga Federal District, according to Valeriy Radaev, governor of the Saratov region. He said that the mill would not only create 1,100 new jobs, but also accelerate economic development. "A new steelmaking production cluster has been set up with the construction of the new plant and this will encourage further development in the region," he said.

The 1Mt capacity mill operates a closed water rotation cycle and a gas cleaning system with a 99% efficiency rating in line with European best practices. Dust content in waste gases will not exceed 5mg/m3, claims Severstal.

The mill will initially supply the Volga Federal District and the Southern Federal District. Some products will be shipped to markets in the Central Black Earth Region and the Central Region, according to Severstal.