ArcelorMittal Zenica inaugurates world’s first hybrid filter, part of a €12.4m investment in environmental and steel production projects

15 March 2017

ArcelorMittal Zenica - one of the most important industrial companies in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the countrys top exporter – has officially inaugurated three new investment projects, with a combined value of more than €12.4m, at a ceremony on Friday 13 March attended by senior representatives from the Federal, Cantonal and City of Zenica authorities.

The investments, two focused on further improvements in the companys environmental performance and a third project designed to modernize the production of one of the steel plants key products, bring total investments in ArcelorMittal Zenica to more than Euro160m, including Euro50m targeted specifically for environmental improvements.

Prior to ArcelorMittals arrival in Zenica in 2004, the steel plant had been largely out of operation since 1992, with little or no investment made at the factory for several decades.

ArcelorMittal Zenica is the first steel plant in the world to have industrial-scale hybrid filtration technology installed in its sinter plant. A total of Euro 3m has been invested in the new technology, which has cut dust emissions significantly, to well below the EU limit of 20 mgNm3.  The company plans to install a second filter, so that both sinter plant stacks dust emissions are filtered.

The filter technology is the culmination of a major collaboration between Danish global engineering company FLSmidth and ArcelorMIttals R and D team, with a team of seven researchers and six technicians working on the design and testing stages of the project. It is to the credit of the teams involved that the project went from concept to industrialisation within two years.  

ArcelorMittal signed a collaboration agreement with FLSmidth to build a pilot plant for the filter in Gijon, Spain, as well as to work together on adapting the technology – which was originally developed for cement plants – to work in sinter plants, which convert iron ore into sinter feed which is then used in the blast furnace.

In addition, ArcelorMittal is installing the technology in its operations in Dabrowa Gornicza, Poland, while a third installation in Gent, Belgium, is also in progress.

Speaking about the filter innovation, Pinakin Chaubal, head of process R and D at ArcelorMittal, said:

Iam extremely proud of the team involved in this project, which sets a new global standard for sinter plant emissions. The installation of the hybrid filter in ArcelorMittal Zenica is an important milestone in the project which has involved our R and D team, ArcelorMittal technical specialists, and ArcelorMittal sites in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Spain. I would also like to thank FLSmidth for their highly professional collaboration on this innovative development.

New technology has also been introduced to achieve major reductions in smoke and gas emissions from ArcelorMittal Zenicas coke battery. The smokeless charging car, a Euro 4.2m investment, cuts charging times, delivering an almost smoke-free charging process and prevents CO2 emissions being released into the atmosphere. The technology was provided by the UK engineering firm John M. Henderson Machines.  

A team of JMH Machines engineers supervised the testing of the mechanical, electrical, hydraulic and pneumatic systems on the ground level, before the 126-tonne car was lifted in one piece into position on the coke oven battery.

New product range

An investment of Euro 5.2m has also been made, to make ArcelorMittal Zenica the first plant in ArcelorMittal Europe to produce rebar in coil.

This is one of ArcelorMittal Zenicas most important products, which offers customers efficiencies in terms of cutting down on wastage and storage space, and annual production capacity will be raised from 300,000 to 320,000 tonnes, while introducing improvements in the product quality and range, ease of storage and delivery. Italys SMS Meer provided and installed the equipment for this production improvement.

This will improve ArcelorMittals competitive edge in an important market sector, said ArcelorMittal Zenica CEO Mr Biju Nair.

Speaking at the ceremony in Zenica, Mr Nair continued:

The three important new investment programmes that we are announcing today represent another practical demonstration of our strong commitment to building a long term, sustainable future for steelmaking in this historic industrial city.

To be sustainable, we must pay attention to improving our environmental footprint, and the efficient production of high quality products that meet the expectations of our customers. The projects were announcing today are very important further steps towards both those objectives.

Mr Nair re-affirmed ArcelorMittal Zenicas strong commitment to continued improvements in its environmental performance, and emphasized the importance of the steel works to the economy of the city, the Canton and the whole region.

Mr Fadil Novolic, Prime Minister of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, sent a letter of support, as he was unable to attend the ceremony in person. New investments in the corporate sector of Bosnia and Herzegovina bring prosperity to everyone, but you are the leader in this and you set an example for other investors in our country and the whole world.

With 2,400 direct jobs and more than 10,000 indirectly dependent on the company for employment through more than 300 local supplier companies, ArcelorMittal is one of the countrys biggest economic generators.