NLMK, which claims to be Russia’s largest steelmaker, is also claiming to be one of the most efficient producers in the world.

According to NLMK, the company generated a saving of 437 million rubles (US$8 million) during 2014 by optimising its energy resource purchasing strategy. The company further claims that it saved 800 million rubles (US$15 million) through projects designed to increase the efficiency of resource use and energy equipment.

The company’s efficiency enhancement projects were aimed at modernising the company’s lighting systems; reducing energy loss in the steel producer’s vapour and hot water supply networks; reducing the repair downtime of generating equipment; and increasing in-house energy generation.

NLMK Group’s large-scale energy projects included the launch of a new turbo generator with a 50MW capacity and an air separation unit at the company’s Lipetsk site. The company claims that these projects drove energy self-sufficiency at Novolipetsk from 52% to 54%.

VIZ-Steel has begun start-up activities at its natural gas vapour reforming facility for the production of hydrogen, while the first stage of a lighting upgrade project at Stoilensky has been completed.

Alexander Starchenko, NLMK’s group vice president for energy, said that the company was planning both cost-efficiency and optimisation initiatives as well as investment projects to achieve the level of best available technologies. “In the near future, we will focus on installing pulverised coal injection (PCI) technologies at blast furnaces #6 and #7 at the Lipetsk site; modernising bell-type furnaces at Novolipetsk rolling operations; and launching commercial operations at VIZ-Steel’s air separation units,” he said.

Representatives of the British Standards Institute (BSI) confirmed the compliance of NLMK’s energy management system at Altai-Koks, Stoilensky, VIZ-Steel, NSMMZ, and NLMK Metalware with the requirements of ISO 50001.