NLMK Lipetsk upgrades hot-rolling operations

20 July 2017

NLMK Group, an international steelmaking company with operations in Russia, the USA and the European Union, is upgrading hot-rolled steel production at the Lipetsk site: the plan is to install a new walking-beam reheating furnace to streamline the slab heating process. The new furnace will replace the outdated pusher-type furnaces currently operational at the facility.

The new furnace (No.2) with a capacity of 320 tonnes/hour (about 2.25 million tonnes per year) will boost the productivity of Mill 2000, increase the quality of steel products due to using a more advanced technology for feeding slabs to the mill, enable a significant reduction in energy consumption and minimize environmental impact.

The Hot Rolling Shop currently operates 5 reheating furnaces in turn with a total maximum capacity of 1,500 tonnes of slabs per hour (in 2016, 6.24 million tonnes of hot-rolled steel was produced). Three of them are already equipped with walking beams; the two remaining pusher-type furnaces will be replaced by the new furnace. This way NLMK Lipetsk will have fully transitioned to using highly efficient and more advanced slab heating equipment.

Konstantin Lagutin, NLMK Group Vice President for Investment Projects, said:

“The new furnace will enable a 110 ktpa increase in hot-strip mill productivity, and an improvement in the quality of HRC by eliminating surface defects in the process of pre-heating slabs that can occur in pusher-type furnaces. Specific natural gas consumption will decrease by 49%. Consumption of energy required for subsequent rolling will reduce by 20%; and air emissions will be almost halved.”

Construction and assembly activities are scheduled to begin in Q4 2017; with launch in H2 2019. During maintenance, slabs for the hot-strip mill will be pre-heated by four of the five existing reheating furnaces. The upgrade of furnace No. 2 will have no impact on the production programme.

Project investments will total approximately RUB 3.5 billion. Main process equipment will be supplied by TENOVA (Italy), with NLMK Engineering acting as the chief designer.

About NLMK Group

NLMK Group is the largest steelmaker in Russia and one of the most efficient in the world.

NLMK Group’s high-quality steel products are used in various industries, from construction and machine building to the manufacturing of power-generation equipment and offshore windmills.

NLMK operates production facilities in Russia, Europe and the United States. The company’s steel production capacity exceeds 17 million tonnes per year.

NLMK has the most competitive cash cost among global manufacturers and one of the highest profitability levels in the industry. In FY2016, the Company generated $7.64 billion in revenue and $1.94 billion in EBITDA. As of 31 December 2016, Net debt/EBITDA stood at 0.36?. The company has an investment grade credit rating from S&P and Fitch.

NLMK’s ordinary shares with a 16% free-float are traded on the Moscow Stock Exchange (ticker "NLMK") and its global depositary shares are traded on the London Stock Exchange (ticker "NLMK:LI"). For more details on NLMK shareholder capital, please follow the link.

NLMK Group received the Steel Industry Leadership Award at the prestigious 2016 Platts Global Metals Awards held by S&P Global Platts, a leading international industry analytical periodical.