Russian steelmaker NLMK Lipetsk, NLMK Group's flagship production site, has embarked upon a large-scale, two-phase overhaul of its steelmaking capacities, namely BOFs and associated dedusting equipment in BOF Shop No.2.

According to NLMK, the overhaul will increase the shop's productivity by 18% from 8.5Mt to 10Mt of steel per year and cut air emissions by 70%. Investment in the project will total RUB 23 billion (US$361million)

Theproject will be completed in late 2020 and the company, Russia's largest steelmaker, has already started phase one of the overhaul, which is expected to take around five months: the 300-tonne BOF No. 2 will be replaced with a 330-tonne unit, off-gas ducts will be upgraded, and an efficient BOF gas capture and purification system will be installed. Phase two will involved the replacement of BOF No. 3 with more efficient equipment and will begin in 2020.

Konstantin Lagutin, NLMK group vice president, investment projects, commented: “The BOF overhaul in BOF Shop No. 2 is one of the milestone projects of our new strategy. Together with other projects aimed at developing our blast furnace and steelmaking operations, it will enable a 1Mt/yr increase in NLMK Lipetsk's steel output. At the same time, the use of advanced environmental and energy-saving solutions will reduce the company's environmental footprint. For instance, the introduction of best available technologies will result in a 2.5-fold increase in gas purification efficiency. Despite the growth of output, these operations will be practically emission-free."