HBI and steel maker Metalloinvest to cut scrap use at Oskol mill with new furnace

Posted on 30 April 2021

• New EAF to use less energy, electrodes and almost no scrap

• New ladle to boost refined steel tonnage

Russian iron ore mining and steelmaking company Metalloinvest said April 30 it will build a new electric arc furnace that will use pellets only and hardly any scrap, as well as a new ladle furnace at its Oskol Electrometallurgical Plant (OEMK) in Belgorod oblast, west Russia.

Metalloinvest, also a major global hot-briquetted iron supplier, will invest Rubles 6.4 billion ($85 million) in the new furnaces, which it plans to commission in 2023 (EAF No. 5) and 2024 (ladle furnace No. 4).

The EAF will have a capacity of 1.2 million mt/year and it will replace 900,000 mt/year EAF No. 2 (one of the OEMK's four existing EAFs), and the ladle furnace will process up to 1.3 million mt/year. Equipment and installation services will be supplied by Danieli of Italy.

EAF No. 5 will be entirely fed with pellets, which would result in a reduction in harmful impurities in steel. OEMK's existing EAFs are charged with scrap and pellets with scrap prevailing in the feedstock mix.

The new EAF will be the first to combine the use of 100% metallized pellets as feedstock and the smelting of high-quality special steel, said Danieli Chairman Gianpietro Benedetti.

The furnace will also have reduced energy and electrode consumption.

"It will be more productive and economical [compared to existing furnaces] and together with the new ladle, will help reduce steel production costs," said Metalloinvest CEO Nazim Efendiev. "Following the commissioning of the ladle furnace, OEMK will be refining 100% of its steel using modern secondary metallurgy technology improving the quality and competitiveness of its products."

Following the completion of these projects, OEMK will still have four EAFs in total and their combined maximal output will not change much, if at all, a company's spokesman told S&P Global Platts.

"The purpose is to raise quality, not capacity, while cutting production costs," he said.

OEMK specializes in higher quality steel grades, including special bar quality (SBQ) steel for the automotive, bearing and other industries. In 2019-20, it made 3.3 million mt/year of saleable steel products.

Metalloinvest became the second Russian steelmaker in the week of April 26 to announce a project that, among other things, is meant to minimize the use of ferrous scrap in steelmaking. Earlier in the week peer company Severstal said its Cherepovets mill launched a 1.3 million mt/year hybrid furnace that is up to 85% charged with liquid pig iron resulting in a 500,000 mt/year scrap intake reduction.

Source : Platts