NLMK to boost Mill 2000’s capacity by 7% after reheating furnace overhaul

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Novolipetsk Iron & Steel (NLMK) is undertaking at its main production site in Russia upgrade work on one of the slab reheating furnaces, which will see hot rolling Mill 2000’s capacity rise by 7%, the steelmaking group said.

The planned work will push Mill 2000’s annual rolling capacity up by about to approximately 6.23 million metric tons, NLMK indicated.

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The mill’s current rolling capacity is now 5.8 million tons, group spokeswoman Marina Simonova told MetalMiner.

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NLMK upgrade work

Upgrade work on the reheating furnace includes installation of equipment that can automatically adjust the temperature, depending on the grade of steel that Mill 2000 rolls. The work will also lower carbon emissions from the furnace by 53,000 metric tons, the group said.

Work on the reheating furnace will also result in a 23% increase in its own annual throughput capacity to 2.25 million metric tons per year, from 1.83 million metric tons, group figures indicated.

NLMK plans to complete work on and restart the furnace in Q2 2023. Estimated cost of the project is ₽5 billion ($67.8 million), the group also said.

The work, however, will not impact Mill 2000’s operations, as there are four additional furnaces that have already undergone overhauls.

Reheating furnaces heat semi-finished products, such as slabs or billets, to high temperatures before sending rolling them into finished product.

Mill 2000 originally started operating in 1969. The facility can produce hot rolled coil for cold rolling.

The mill can also produce hot rolled coil in 1.5-25 mm gauges and in a width of 1,850 mm, a source with knowledge of the plant also told MetalMiner.

Production figures

NLMK’s hot rolled coil production from its Flats Russia in H1 came to almost 1.35 million metric tons. The total is down 5% year over year from 1.43 million metric tons, the group said in its operational results report.

The majority of flats production remained in Russia by August, the source said.

He noted that exports of hot rolled coil produced in Lipetsk oblast, where NLMK’s main plant ia, from January to August totaled 421,817 metric tons. That is down by almost half from the 819,307 metric tons over the same time in 2020.

He noted, however, that NLMK was the only producer of hot rolled coil in that area, about 465 kilometers south of Russian capital Moscow.

Out of that data, Turkey was the biggest importer of NLMK’s hot rolled coil at 285,455 metric tons, down 51.7% from 590,767 metric tons.

Mexico had second place at 56,505 metric tons, though that was down by 60% from 143,703 metric tons, the source added.

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