NLMK Group, one of Russia’s leading integrated steelmakers, has announced that its pulverised coal injection (PCI) plants for blast furnaces number six and number seven at the Lipetsk site, have reached their designed parameters.

The PCI plants for blast furnaces No. 6 (yearly production: 3.1Mt of hot metal) and No. 7 (4.3Mt) have been part of an integral contract with Paul Wurth covering the introduction of PCI to the four most important ironmaking units of NLMK. Operations with PCI at blast furnaces number four and five commenced back in 2013/2014.

Recent guarantee tests at furnaces six and seven confirmed the injection of pulverised coal at a rate of 160 kg per ton of hot metal. NLMK injects coal in combination with natural gas. Dense phase conveying systems with static distributors are said to be attractive in CAPEX terms and ensure accurate distribution of the pulverised coal over the hot blast tuyeres. Injection coal is being produced by upstream grinding and drying plants self-inertising process circuits, supplied by Paul Wurth, ensure coal pulverisation with reliable explosion prevention, the company claims.

Paul Wurth’s PCI systems are in operation at more than 80 medium- and large-sized blast furnaces worldwide. Among them are currently nine of the most productive furnaces in Russia, including NLMK’s Novolipetsk Steel Works.