NLMK Group, an international steel producer with operations in Russia, Europe and the USA, has signed an agreement for the purchase of the core process equipment for the construction of a new walking-beam reheating furnace to streamline the slab heating process at NLMK Pennsylvania (Farrell, PA, USA). The new furnace will replace 3 outdated pusher-type furnaces currently operational at the facility.
The reheating furnace, which will have a capacity of 395 tonne per hour or around 1.7 million tonnes per year, pre-heats steel slabs prior to further rolling at the hot strip mill. The project will significantly increase the quality of finished steel products due to the transition to a more advanced technology. It will also enable lower energy consumption and minimize environmental impact.
The project also includes the construction of a warehouse for slabs supplied by Novolipetsk.
Bob Miller, NLMK USA CEO, said: “The construction of the new furnace is a major project for NLMK Pennsylvania aimed to bolster the market presence of the company. It will improve the quality of hot-rolled steel by eliminating slab surface defects, which are characteristic of pusher-type furnaces. In addition there will be an approximate 45% decrease in natural gas consumption as well as a reduced emission rate”.
Construction and installation works are planned for Q3 2017; and the furnace is to become operational in 2018. Installation of the new equipment will not impact upon the facility’s production plan.
Project capex is estimated at $80 million. At current prices, the project will increase EBITDA by $29 million per year (for reference, NLMK USA's EBITDA for 9M 2016 was $144 million).