The United Metallurgical Company (OMK), conducted the official opening of its Plate-Rolling Complex Mill 5000, at the Vyksa Steel Works (VSW, Nizhni Novgorod Region) on 25 November 2011.

The heavy plate mill MKS-5000 is intended for the production of thick wide plate in high quality steel for the manufacture of large-diameter pipe for gas and oil. This is the largest import substitution project for the Russian tubular sector.

The chairman of board of directors of OMK, Anatoly Sedyh, said during the start-up ceremony: “Our most important task was to overcome (our) dependence on the purchase of imported plate, which is now executed. Annually Russia imported more than 1Mt of wide plate costing €1bn a year. Today, this historical moment ends this period of more than 50 years of dependence (on imports)”

Besides plate for large diameter pipe, plate will be made for shipbuilding, nuclear power, bridge engineering and other markets.

Initially the project cost was estimated in US$2bn but came in at US$1.6bn. Financing of the equipment supplied by SMS Siemag of Germany was carried out using OMK’s own capital and a loan from a consortium of foreign banks.

Over the past seven years, about $US4bn has been invested by OMK to build new modern production facilities at Vyksa to produce high quality large-diameter pipes up to 1420mm diameter with wall thickness up to 49mm in accordance with Det Norske Veritas (DNV) standard that exceed in quality most foreign pipe of similar type for undersea gas and oil pipelines. This has enabled OMK to participate in supplying to challenging projects such as Nord Stream (5000t of large-diameter pipe of wall thickness of 41mm for subsea gas pipeline), Bovanenkovo–Ukhta, ESPO, and others.