What better way to celebrate an 80th anniversary than a pig iron heat?

That's exactly what Russian steelmaker NLMK planned for its Blast Furnace No. 7 at the company's Novolipetsk plant.

Blast furnace No.7 is claimed to be one of the most modern and efficient furnaces in the world, says NLMK.

Present at the ceremony was NLMK top brass including Oleg Bagrin, group CEO; Sergey Filatov, managing director of Novolipetsk; plant heads of department and veterans and the Governor of the Lipetsk region, Oleg Korolev.

“Throughout the decades of its long history, Novolipetsk has always been a centre for implementing advanced solutions that determined the development of both Russian and global steelmaking," said Bagrin, adding that the company today was not only global but the biggest steelmaker in Russia and one of the most efficient in the world. "We have ambitious goals and large-scale projects ahead of us that will be a success thanks to, among other factors, the professionalism and loyalty of the Lipetsk steelmakers," he added.

After the pig iron heat, a sculpture entitled The Steelmaker was unveiled. Created by Valentin Chelyadin, a former NLMK employee, it was cast by Novolipetsk specialists.

Novolipetsk is the main production site of NLMK Group. The steel production volume of the Lipetsk site is in excess of 12Mt/yr, or approximately 18% of all steel produced in Russia, and approximately 80% of all steel products produced by NLMK Group.

Steel products produced at Novolipetsk are used in various strategically important industries, from construction and machine-building to the production of energy equipment and large-diameter pipes.