Russian steelmaker NLMK has started the commissioning and start-up of a new continuous casting machine at its flagship Lipetsk site in Russia.

This latest news from the leading Russian steelmaker follows on from an announcement that the company has completed assembly of the main process equipment at its continuous casting machine number nine (CCM-9), which forms one of NLMK's key Strategy 2022 projects.

The steelmaker claims that its upgraded CCM-9 will enable it to fully master the production of ‘heavy’ slabs with increased chemical purity and structural homogeneity. The CCM will produce semis weighing up to 70 tonnes, up to 400 mm thick and up to 2,800 mm wide, for processing into thick plate. Such plates can then be used to produce large-diameter pipes, wind turbine parts, marine vessels, and oil drilling rigs.

Investment in the project amounted to RUB 12 billion (US$164 million).

NLMK is planning to launch the complex and manufacture the first products from it in June this year.