SeAH Changwon Special Steel orders second ABB stirring technology for steel plant in South Korea

12 January 2024

SeAH Changwon Special Steel has placed an order with global technology company ABB for a second ABB ArcSave® electromagnetic stirrer for use on an electric arc furnace (EAF) at the SeAH Changwon Integrated Special Steel plant in South Korea.

The plant produces 1.2 million tons of steel and 1 million tons of steel products annually, putting SeAH in the global top ten of special steel manufacturers. Its stainless steel rods and wires made from high-quality special steel have end uses with customers in the automotive, energy and shipbuilding industries.

ABB ArcSave will be installed on an EAF that produces carbon and stainless steel and has a steelmaking capacity of 100 tons. The technology is expected to improve furnace efficiency, reduce energy consumption and overall operating costs on the continuously operated EAF at Changwon. Steelmakers have typically reported yield improvements of up to one percent, productivity increases of five to seven percent and electrical energy savings of three to five percent when deploying the equipment.

The customer will be able to improve metallurgical conditions in the EAF melt using the ABB technology. The stirring solution has optimized the operation of some of the world’s largest arc furnaces and can help reduce the carbon footprint at both existing steelmaking lines and greenfield projects.

“We have experienced the benefits of the ABB ArcSave first-hand and look forward to further improving the efficiency of our electric arc furnace steelmaking operations with a second installation,” said Eung-Sou Lee, Director, Production Division, SeAH Changwon Special Steel.

“We are very pleased that SeAH Changwon Special Steel has once again chosen ABB to provide this unique technology,” said Zaeim Mehraban, Global Head of Sales, ABB Metallurgy. “It underlines the positive effect that ABB ArcSave has for high-alloy steel producers, including overcoming the challenge of bottom skull formation which can impact steel yield, furnace volume capacity, maintenance costs and downtime.”

The new order, which will be commissioned in late 2024, is the second from SeAH Steel and follows the installation of an ABB ArcSave electromagnetic stirrer on an EAF with a 70-tons production capacity in 2018. By introducing electromagnetic stirring and replacing an existing bottom gas stirring installation, SeAH was able to reduce bottom skull thickness from up to 1,000mm to less than 200mm. EAF productivity was improved by between five to seven percent, scrap handling costs were reduced by 70 to 80 percent, electrical energy savings were at between three and four percent and there were 40 percent savings on furnace refractory repairs. Other improvements included easier scrap bucket charging and better melt bath level control and tap weight hit ratio.

Requiring no physical contact with the bottom of the EAF, ABB ArcSave enhances metallurgical performance during the melting of large scrap items, reducing stratification via forced convection. This improves EAF operation by homogenizing temperature distribution and chemical composition, while speeding up scrap and ferroalloy melting compared with natural convection alone.

ABB offers the world’s most comprehensive range of EMS for both steel and aluminium production processes, delivering metallurgical improvements that are proven to increase productivity, end-product quality and reduce operating costs for electric arc, ladle and aluminium furnaces, as well as thick and thin slab and billet and bloom casters.

A complete range of products, services and end-to-end solutions that improve productivity, quality, safety and cost-efficiency in iron, steel, aluminium and other metals production processes are available through ABB. Across the whole metals value chain, ABB demonstrates a commitment to optimize operations with high performance products and digital solutions.