Russia's largest global steelmaker NLMK Group is designing equipment to implement the stamp charging process at its Altai-Koks coke plant. The aim is to boost coke quality and reduce production costs through use of more cost-efficient grades of coking coals.

Stamping technology is under implementation at NLMK's Coke Plant No. 5, which was launched in 2006 with a design capacity of 1.1Mt/yr, and covers 25% of all Altai-Koks' production needs.

According to NLMK, the scope of the project includes an overhaul of the plant, construction of a storage bunker equipped with stamping machines, and installation of conveyors and machines for loading stamped charge into the oven.

Unlike the conventional top charging method, stamped charging involves feeding already compacted coal briquettes into the oven horizontally. This ensures a better quality of coke and a reduction in the share of expensive grades of coal, as stamped coke particles bake better, boosting the CSR and increasing resistance to mechanical stress during transportation and loading into the blast furnace.

Konstantin Lagutin, NLMK Group vice president of investment projects, commented: “Altai-Koks covers NLMK Group’s coke requirements. Stamping technology will enable us to reach two goals, both improving the quality of coke and reducing its production cost, thus boosting the efficiency of NLMK’s blast furnace operations. The upgraded coke plant will be equipped with highly efficient, advanced systems for capturing and treating off-gases, significantly improving the environmental performance of the process.”

Project investment will total 57 million Euros. The project is currently in the design stage, with the equipment for the coke plant upgrade currently being manufactured. Set-up and start-up operations are planned for H2 2019.