Russian steelmaker NLMK has engaged the services of Siemens VAI on what amounts to an environmental project at the company's Novolipetsk BOF operations in Russia.

NLMK Group, Russia’s leading manufacturer of high value added steel products, has concluded a contract with Siemens VAI for undertaking the main works as part of a large-scale project of upgrading both gas exhaust equipment and emission collection and cleaning systems at the Novolipetsk BOF operations.

Novolipetsk is the main production site of NLMK Group and the nucleus of NLMK Group’s single production chain. Steel production volumes at the Lipetsk site are in excess of 12Mt/yr, which is approximately 18% of all steel produced in Russia and approximately 80% of all the steel products produced by NLMK Group.

The German technology provider will be responsible for engineering works and the supply of the technological hardware for the construction of a secondary emissions collection and cleaning system. The company will also be responsible for replacing the gas exhaust ducts of two BOFs with a joint capacity of 5.23Mt/yr and will also supervise equipment assembly and start-up.

According to NLMK, the technology being installed by Siemens VAI, will effect a 12% productivity increase and reduce air emissions by more than 50%. They will also provide the possibility of generating energy from BOF gases.

Construction and assembly activities will begin in June 2016 and scheduled for completion in 2019.

“NLMK is implementing this large-scale project as part of its Strategy 2017 and its Environmental Programme 2020, aimed at enhancing production efficiency, occupational health and safety, and at radically reducing the environmental footprint of operations, " said Konstantin Lagutin, NLMK group vce president for Investment projects. He added that replacing existing facilities with modern and automated technological systems will boost the reliability and environmental friendliness of NLMK’s BOF operations.

NLMK Group has collaborated with Siemens VAI on a number of joint hi-tech projects including the reconstruction of gas exhaust ducts at the first BOF shop; the reconstruction of three continuous casting machines; and the construction of four ladle furnaces. Siemens is also involved in the construction of a pelletising plant at Stoilensky.

Since 2000, Novolipetsk has invested over RUB 200 billion into facility upgrades allowing it to double production volumes, enhance productivity, expand product mix significantly and improve the environmental footprint of the site. NLMK claims it has completely halted waste water discharge; reduced specific air emissions two-fold; and and started to eliminate previously accumulated solid waste.

In May the company announced a new stage of its environmental programme leading up to 2020 (Environmental Programme 2020). The aim of the programme is to further minimise the environmental footprint of its operations and achieve the best environmental standards in global steelmaking. NLMK Group has invested RUB10.6 billion on environmental initiatives, most of which isinvested in Lipetsk production site.