AOD converter and dedusting system from Primetals Technologies brought into operation for SIJ Acroni

  • Additional secondary metallurgy route increases production capacity by over 20 percent
  • Savings on alloying elements reduce production costs

In April, an AOD converter with a capacity of 95 metric tons and a dedusting system from Primetals Technologies were brought into operation for SIJ Acroni d.o.o, a Slovenian steel producer belonging to the Slovenian Steel Group (SIJ). This has given SIJ Acroni another steel production option to add to its existing process route and increased its production capacity by more than 20 percent. The new AOD converter has expanded SIJ Acroni’s product portfolio, taken the load off the existing production processes in the steel works, and improved product quality. It also provides a higher flexibility on the raw material side to allow the usage of less expensive charging materials and to consequently reduce the production costs. Primetals Technologies received the order in the middle of 2015.

SIJ Acroni is Europe’s leading producer of stainless quarto plates. It also specializes in electrical and special steels, which have been sold in the form of hot and cold-rolled coils, heavy plates, and cold-formed profiles, which are mainly used for special niche products. The SIJ Acroni plant lies in Jesenice, about 60 kilometers northwest of the capital, Ljubljana. The crude steel had previously been smelted in an electric arc furnace, and decarburized in a VOD converter with a capacity of 90 metric tons. As the duration of treatment is significantly longer than that for carbon steels, this plant configuration is a bottleneck in the production of stainless steel. This has now been eliminated by the installation of an AOD converter, which has increased both the production capacity and the flexibility of the steel works. Additional advantages of an AOD converter are the low degree of slagging of alloying elements, such as chromium, and the option of using cheaper ferrochromium grades with a higher carbon content than alloying elements.

Primetals Technologies was responsible for the design and production of the key components of the AOD converter and the dedusting system, and supervised their construction and commissioning. The new materials handling system for the converter has been connected to the existing system in order to ensure maximum flexibility. The scope of supply also included process automation specifically designed for AOD converters. This ensures that raw materials are used efficiently and minimizes treatment times. The converter is equipped with a Drive Damper. This reduces the vibrations caused by the injection processes and thus the mechanical stresses acting on the entire system from the converter down to the foundations. The patented system reduces wear and maintenance costs while also lengthening the service life of the plant. The dedusting system, which was installed at the same time as the AOD converter, ensures that emissions are kept below the current limits. It is a fully automated filter-bag system with an extraction capacity of around 900 000 cubic meters per hour, which ensures that the off gases from the new AOD converter, associated secondary units and the existing ladle furnace are captured and cooled.

The project was handled by a consortium with the Slovenian company Esotech d.d., Velenje. Esotech was responsible for the structural steel work, constructing the plant, and supplying the water treatment plant.

Source: Primetals Technologies

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US Coil Prices Soften, Plate Values Steady

US strip mill product prices fell, in the past four weeks, according to MEPS. Hot rolled coil is readily available, from both local and offshore suppliers. Domestic delivery lead times are between two and four weeks. A number of US steel buyers remark that local producers and several Canadian steelmakers continue to offer material at slightly reduced price levels, in an attempt to secure orders.

Cold rolled coil buyers were successful in securing discounted deals from domestic mills – after achieving price reductions on hot band material. Many US producers lowered prices, in an attempt to secure orders, amid stronger foreign competition. Small pockets of material from Russia, Egypt, Canada, Mexico, South Africa, Malaysia and Thailand are available in the domestic market.

Demand from the automotive sector has slowed down, albeit from record levels. Local hot dipped galvanised producers are willing to offer reduced prices, in an attempt to secure orders. Delivery lead times are between five and seven weeks. A shortage of competitively-priced offshore options persists.

The upward trajectory of US hot rolled plate prices stalled, as local values were unchanged, this month. However, the domestic mills could announce a list price hike, in the near term. Healthy demand from the construction and energy sectors and tight supply conditions could assist mill attempts to solidify previous price gains. Domestic delivery lead times are projected to extend, in the third trimester, as several US plate producers plan maintenance outages. Availability of offshore hot rolled plate remains limited as a result of trade cases.

Source: MEPS International Steel Review – May 2017 Edition

Nucor to Build Galvanizing Line at its Kentucky Sheet Mill

CHARLOTTE, N.C., May 25, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Nucor Corporation (NYSE: NUE) announced today that it is investing an estimated $176 million to build a hot band galvanizing and pickling line at its sheet mill in Ghent, Kentucky. The new galvanizing line will expand Nucor Steel Gallatin’s product capabilities and have an annual capacity of 500,000 tons.

“The addition of a hot band galvanizing line at Nucor Steel Gallatin supports our automotive growth strategy. This project will allow us to move into segments of the automotive market we currently do not serve,” said John Ferriola, Chairman, CEO and President. “We have been growing our share of the automotive market and this project will help us continue that trend. In addition, this line will fully satisfy a key need in the marketplace for high-quality, hot-rolled galvanized steel.”

“This project will enable us to provide our customers with value-added products as part of the company’s long-term strategy for profitable growth,” said John Farris, Vice President & General Manager of Nucor Steel Gallatin. “We are proud to make this investment in the Ghent community and the State of Kentucky. We would like to thank Governor Matt Bevin, our local officials, East Kentucky Power Cooperative and Owen Electric, our teammates and the entire community for their support.”

The 72-inch galvanizing line will be the widest hot-rolled galvanizing line in North America. This new line will create synergies with Nucor’s other sheet mills and increase the company’s market share of coated steel in the Midwest. Once the necessary approvals are obtained, it is expected to take two years to construct the galvanizing line and begin operations.

The hot band galvanizing project will create 75 new full-time jobs. Approximately 430 teammates currently work at the mill.

Nucor and its affiliates are manufacturers of steel products, with operating facilities primarily in the U.S. and Canada.  Products produced include: carbon and alloy steel — in bars, beams, sheet and plate; hollow structural section tubing; electrical conduit; steel piling; steel joists and joist girders; steel deck; fabricated concrete reinforcing steel; cold finished steel; steel fasteners; metal building systems; steel grating; and wire and wire mesh.  Nucor, through The David J. Joseph Company, also brokers ferrous and nonferrous metals, pig iron and HBI/DRI; supplies ferro-alloys; and processes ferrous and nonferrous scrap. Nucor is North America’s largest recycler.

Certain statements contained in this news release are “forward-looking statements” that involve risks and uncertainties.  The words “believe,” “expect,” “project,” “will,” “should,” “could” and similar expressions are intended to identify those forward-looking statements.  Factors that might cause the Company’s actual results to differ materially from those anticipated in forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to: (1) competitive pressure on sales and pricing, including competition from imports and substitute materials; (2) the sensitivity of the results of our operations to prevailing steel prices and the changes in the supply and cost of raw materials, including scrap steel; (3) market demand for steel products; and (4) energy costs and availability.  These and other factors are discussed in Nucor’s regulatory filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including those in Nucor’s fiscal 2016 Annual Report on Form 10-K, Item 1A. Risk Factors.  The forward-looking statements contained in this news release speak only as of this date, and Nucor does not assume any obligation to update them.

To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/nucor-to-build-galvanizing-line-at-its-kentucky-sheet-mill-300463999.html

SOURCE: Nucor Corporation

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Cold Rolled Coil Prices Weaken in Northern Europe

Market participants, in Denmark, report that local demand is a little weaker than in neighbouring Sweden and Germany. Cold rolled coil values softened, slightly, in May, according to MEPS.

Consumption is at a high level, in Sweden. However, prices are believed to have peaked, for now.

Purchase volumes are satisfactory, in Finland. The price trend is thought to have reached the top of the current cycle but MEPS has no reports of reductions, as yet.

Sales tonnages are high, in the Netherlands. Offers from China are competitive, even after the application of antidumping duties. Quotations from India and South Korea are also attractive.

In Norway, business activity levels are good but cold rolled coil prices are under negative pressure.

Source: European Steel Review Supplement – May Edition

THE MEPS EU ALL PRODUCTS COMPOSITE STEEL PRICE DECLINES BY 3 PERCENT IN MAY

The negative price sentiment, noted last month, for sales of hot and cold rolled coil, was more pronounced, in May, in both the north and south of Europe. The upward trend for hot dipped galvanised coil values has stalled and weakness is evident in a number of countries. Spot business slowed amidst a reluctance to commit to forward transactions. Stocks in the supply chain are high. Quantities of material, ordered at the end of 2016/early 2017, in advance of price hikes, are now arriving at the ports or at customers’ warehouses. Moreover, recent limitations on domestic supply eased, as European mills caught up with order backlogs. Producers in third countries that are currently unaffected by EC antidumping measures, are making competitive offers to European customers. The recent strengthening of the euro against the US dollar also made overseas offers more attractive.

Underlying steel consumption is robust, in Germany, due to the healthy economic situation. However, recent supply tightness has eased considerably, especially for hot and cold rolled coil. Standard grades and sizes are on offer, at attractive prices, from sources such as India, Taiwan, Vietnam, South Korea and Russia. Service centre stocks are bloated. The upward price momentum reversed, in May.

A general downward adjustment was noted, in France. End-user activity, which fell in April, compared with March, was only moderate. May demand is expected to be slow, with several national holidays and the uncertainty brought about by the election. Decoilers are carrying relatively large inventories.

In general, Italian demand is stagnant and the market is fragile. The only sectors performing well are auto and mechanical engineering. As service centre stocks are high, buyers are in no hurry to re-order. Their sales are sluggish, as end-users await price developments. Resale values have fallen, resulting in poor profit margins. Ex-works strip mill product figures are under pressure due to the availability of competitively priced Indian, Turkish, Egyptian and Malaysian offers.

The UK manufacturing industry continues to perform strongly. Distributors report that end-users are busy. However, third trimester business was transacted at reduced prices. Third country import offers, from a variety of sources, are significantly cheaper than their domestic counterparts. Deals have been concluded for September arrival. In addition, inventory levels throughout the supply chain remain high, including material ordered from mainland European suppliers that is building up at the docks. Service centre sales are still healthy but profit margins are under pressure.

Domestic basis figures have reached their peak in Belgium, with negative movements monitored for third quarter deliveries. Distributors’ inventories are abundant, allowing them to postpone purchases. Import possibilities are available at competitive prices but customers show little interest. We detect considerable caution as many market participants believe that further decreases are likely.

Spanish basis values are falling quite sharply, despite satisfactory levels of consumption from a growing manufacturing sector. The perception of a negative price trend led to a lack of order intake at the mills, as buyers delayed purchasing decisions. End-users are pressing distributors for price cuts. Import offers are plentiful, for September arrival, but few deals have been concluded as customers are in “wait and see” mode.

Source: MEPS – European Steel Review – May 2017 Issue

SEVERSTAL RELIES ON PAUL WURTH TECHNOLOGY FOR BLAST FURNACE PLANT MODERNIZATION

Severstal, one of the world’s leading vertically integrated steel and mining companies, has signed a contract with Paul Wurth S.A. for design and supply of key technology and related equipment for the reline of Blast Furnace No. 5 (“Severyanka”) at Cherepovets Metallurgical Plant in Russia.

Alexander Shevelev, Chief Executive Officer of Severstal, said: “The fifth blast furnace has been operating for over 14 years and this refurbishment project is expected to more than double its lifespan. This is an ambitious project which will require a variety of innovative technical solutions. Since the very first stages of design, we have been constrained by strict environmental regulation which the engineering and equipment suppliers must also comply with. Leading technology will ensure that the refurbished blast furnace consistently performs at a high level, conserving resources and employing a fully automated and environmentally friendly process for the smelting of cast iron”.

In 2018-2019, the plan is to build the auxiliary facilities at the complex. The main technological equipment and equipment for the automated control system will be installed in 2020.

“Severyanka” is currently one of Europe’s largest furnaces by volume. Its design capacity is more than 4 million tonnes of hot metal per year.

Severstal’s order to Paul Wurth comprises a completely new, parallel-hopper design Bell Less Top® charging system with a hopper volume of 80 m3 and a chute transmission gearbox with the most efficient and reliable pressurized cooling system, the latest innovation from the inventor of the BLT®.

The blast furnace top gas will be cleaned by a Paul Wurth two-stage top gas cleaning plant consisting of a new type axial cyclone for the dry separation of coarse particles and an annular gap scrubber with a demister for fine dust elimination and more accurate control of the top gas pressure compared to the use of septum valves. This configuration of the top gas cleaning system and its possible set points ensure a high cleaning efficiency (dust load on clean gas: less than 4 mg/Nm3), a significant reduction of sludge production and provide the possibility of higher Fe return rates into the main metallurgical cycle.

After a positive experience with Paul Wurth’s BFXpert® level-2 automation solution at the currently operating BF No. 5, Severstal ordered an upgrade and extension of this system, with new functionalities of the models for even more efficient process control.

Furthermore, Paul Wurth will supply four INBA® slag granulation plants with dynamic dewatering of the slag sand. With the cold water system and steam condensation, an officially recognised Best Available Technology (BAT) will be applied for targeted emission control at lowest level. After about 300 INBA systems installed worldwide, Severstal’s installations will represent the first application of this technology in Russia and another market breakthrough for Paul Wurth.

Source: Paul Wurth

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