Category Archives: China Steel

Guangxi Guixin orders EAF Quantum electric arc furnace from Primetals Technologies

  • Tapping weight of maximum 80 metric tons

  • First application of split tapping process reduces tap-to-tap time

  • Plant concept reduces electrical energy requirement, operating costs and CO2 emissions

  • High degree of automation

The Chinese steel producer Guangxi Guixin Iron & Steel Group Co., Ltd  (Guangxi Guixin) has placed an order with Primetals Technologies to supply an EAF Quantum electric arc furnace for its Hezhou, Guangxi works. The furnace has a tapping weight of 80 metric tons and will replace to smaller existing arc furnaces. For the first time, an EAF Quantum arc furnace features the new split tapping process: Tapping is performed under full power with a tap-to-tap time of just 26 minutes. The furnace has an extremely low requirement of electrical energy, which also contributes to a reduction in both operating costs and CO2 emissions. The high degree of automation, starting from the scrapyard, makes the EAF Quantum ready for Industry 4.0. Commissioning of the new furnace is scheduled for mid-2019.

Guixin Iron and Steel Group Co., Ltd. was established in 1993. The privately owned group comprises companies active in the steel, real estate, port, finance, and trade businesses. Its steelmaking capacity amounted to 8 million metric tons (2017), mainly rebar and wire rod and coil. The production site in Hezhou is EAF based and produces long products.

Primetals Technologies will supply the entire mechanical and electrical process equipment for the EAF Quantum electric arc furnace. This includes the automated scrap yard management, the automated charging process as well as automated oxygen lancing and sand filling as well as level 2 automation, making the plant ready for Industry 4.0. A special feature of the new EAF Quantum is the newly introduced split tapping process. This allows for continuous tapping with smaller but faster heats due to the large hot heel of the furnace and Primetals Technologies´ FAST tapping solution, significantly reducing tap-to-tap times.

Developed by Primetals Technologies, the EAF Quantum combines proven elements of shaft furnace technology with an innovative scrap feeding process, efficient preheating system, new tipping concept for the lower shell, and an optimized tap system to attain significantly reduced tap-to-tap times. The electrical energy requirement is considerably less than that of a conventional electric arc furnace. In conjunction with reduced consumption of electrodes and oxygen, a cumulative benefit of around 20 percent is achieved for respective conversion costs. Overall, reductions of up to 30 percent of CO2 emissions per metric ton of crude steel can be attained when compared to conventional arc furnaces.

electric arc furnace

EAF Quantum electric arc furnace from Primetals Technologies

Source: Primetals Technologies

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Primetals Technologies supplies new Arvedi ESP line to Henan Yaxin

  • Casting-rolling plant produces high-quality, ultra-thin strip to enter new market segments
  • Rolling of reproducible strip thicknesses down to 0.8 mm
  • Total production capacity of 1.6 million tons per year with potential for 2.5 million tons per year
  • Energy consumption and related costs are reduced by up to 45% compared to conventional casting and rolling processes
  • First mini mill combination of Quantum EAF and ESP with major reduction in CO2 and NOx emissions

Chinese steel producer Henan Yaxin Steel Group Co., Ltd. (Henan Yaxin) has placed an order with Primetals Technologies for the supply of an Arvedi ESP (Endless Strip Production) line. The casting-rolling facility will be part of a new steelmaking facility currently under construction in Fuding City, Fujian province . The liquid steel will be produced by two EAF Quantum electric arc furnaces ordered from Primetals Technologies earlier this year.

The Arvedi ESP line has a design capacity of 1.6 million metric tons per year with the potential to produce later 2.5 million tons per year. It is capable of rolling strip to a reproducible strip thicknesses down to 0.8 mm. This will enable Henan Yaxin to produce high-quality, ultra-thin strip to enter new market segments. Compared to conventional casting and rolling processes, energy consumption and the related costs are reduced by up to 45%. This also results in a major reduction in CO2 and NOx emissions, minimizing environmental impact. This is the first environmental friendly mini mill installation worldwide where EAF Quantum and Arvedi ESP are combined. The plant is scheduled to go into operation in 2020.

The privately-owned company Henan Yaxin operates integrated and compact steelmaking plants in five provinces and cities in China, and can produce more than ten million metric tons of steel each year. The Arvedi ESP plant will allow Henan Yaxin to better serve the highly attractive local and export markets for high-quality, thin-gauge strip products. The 180-meter-long plant is far more compact than conventional casting and rolling mills. The new plant is designed for an annual production capacity of 2.5 million tons of high-quality, ultra-thin, hot-rolled strip products with widths of up to 1,600 mm and thicknesses down to 0.8 mm. Carbon steels, high-strength low alloyed (HSLA) grades and dual-phase steels will be produced.

Primetals Technologies is responsible for the engineering of the Arvedi ESP plant and will supply mechanical equipment, media-control systems, technological packages and automation systems. The entire line is controlled by a completely integrated basic (Level 1) and process optimization (Level 2) automation, which fully controls all casting and rolling operations.

In the Arvedi ESP process, hot-rolled coils are produced in a linked casting and rolling plant directly from liquid steel in a continuous and uninterrupted manufacturing process. The line commences with the casting of a thin strand that is subsequently rolled to an intermediate thickness of 8 to 20 mm in a 3-stand high-reduction mill positioned at the end of the caster. After reheating in an induction heater, rolling of the transfer bar to the targeted end thickness is performed in a 5-stand finishing mill followed by laminar strip cooling. Strip cutting is then carried out by means of a high-speed shear immediately prior to coiling to coil weights of up to 32 metric tons. The full range of steel grades can be flexibly produced on Arvedi ESP plants.

As a result of the endless strip-production mode of Arvedi ESP lines, repeated threading into the individual rolling stands is not necessary. This is the basis for the production of ultra-thin strip gauges down to 0.8 mm thicknesses. The tolerance values for the required strip geometry are fully met along the entire length of the rolled product. Endless production is also decisive for assuring the homogeneity of the steel microstructure, grain size, yield strength and tensile strength. Because the strip is continually under tension, the cobble rate is below 0.1%, even when producing more than 50% below 1.2 mm thickness. Yield values exceeding 98% are reached because cropping of the strip head and tail ends is not necessary.

Arvedi ESP plant in operation

Source:  Primetals Technologies

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Fourth Arvedi ESP line from Primetals Technologies started up at Rizhao Steel in China

Casting-rolling plant produces 1.7 million metric tons of high-quality, ultra-thin hot strip

At the Chinese steel producer Rizhao Steel Co., Ltd. (Rizhao Steel), the fourth Arvedi ESP (Endless Strip Production) plant supplied by Primetals Technologies was started up in April 2018. The casting and rolling plant will produce 1.7 million metric tons of high-quality, ultra-thin hot strip with thicknesses of down to 0.8 millimetres and widths of up to 1,300 millimetres. The product portfolio ranges from carbon steel to HSLA (high-strength low alloyed) grades. To cater to capacity shifts of Rizhao´s crude steel production and a change in plant setup, the Arvedi ESP plant was re-engineered for the use of larger ladles as well as for decreased space availability during the ongoing project. The plant features a Through-Process Optimization solution (TPO) and Industry 4.0. The order was placed with Primetals Technologies in 2014.

Arvedi ESP Plant was adapted to changes in crude steel production and space availability during the ongoing project

Rizhao Steel Co., Ltd. (Rizhao Steel), a company of the Rizhao Steel Holding Group, is located around 30 kilometres outside of the port of Rizhao in the south of Shandong province. The company has a production capacity of approximately 15 million metric tons of crude steel. Rizhao Steel’s product portfolio includes hot-rolled coils, wire, rods and small-dimensioned I-beams, which are mainly sold to Chinese customers. The new Arvedi ESP plants enable Rizhao Steel to further expand its production capacities for high-grade thin strip products and production of cold-rolled substitutes.

Plant features Through-Process Optimization solution (TPO) and Industry 4.0

Primetals Technologies was responsible for the engineering of the Arvedi ESP plant and supplied the mechanical equipment, the media systems, technology packages and the automation technology. The casting and rolling lines are controlled with the aid of consistent and integrated basic (level 1) and process automation (level 2). This ensures a finely coordinated interaction of the casting and rolling process. The installed Through-Process Optimization solution (TPO) compromises of the intelligent Through-Process Quality Control System (TPQC), a newly developed Industry 4.0 IT system and Through-Process Know-How (TPKH) modules. The TPO system will continuously monitor and manage product quality by recording all process parameters as well as measured production and product data, starting from the liquid phase up to the final processing lines.

The Arvedi ESP system produces hot strip directly from liquid steel in a continuous and uninterrupted production process in a linked casting and rolling plant. In this type of plant, the power consumption and the related costs are up to 45 percent less than in the case of a conventional plant with separate casting and rolling processes. It also means a significant reduction of CO2 emissions. Furthermore, with a length of only 155 meters, the dimensions of these plants are clearly more compact than those of conventional casting and rolling plants.

Shaking hands in front of the first coil produced on the fourth Arvedi ESP line at Rizhao Steel: Yu Yao, Plant Manager ESP lines, Rizhao Steel; Harald Monn-Weiss, Site Manager Primetals Technologies; Xie Jibiao, Overall Plant Manager ESP Melt shop, Rizhao Steel (from left to right).

Primetals Technologies, Limited

Primetals Technologies, Limited headquartered in London, United Kingdom is a worldwide leading engineering, plant-building and lifecycle services partner for the metals industry. The company offers a complete technology, product and service portfolio that includes integrated electrics, automation and environmental solutions. This covers every step of the iron and steel production chain, extending from the raw materials to the finished product – in addition to the latest rolling solutions for the nonferrous metals sector. Primetals Technologies is a joint venture of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) and Siemens. Mitsubishi-Hitachi Metals Machinery (MHMM) – an MHI consolidated group company with equity participation by Hitachi, Ltd. and the IHI Corporation – holds a 51% stake and Siemens a 49% stake in the joint venture. The company employs around 7,000 employees worldwide. Further information is available on the Internet at www.primetals.com.

Section 232 Continues to Cast a Shadow Over Emerging Steel Markets

Brazil

Brazilian steelmakers are optimistic about the strength of domestic consumption in 2018, highlighting improving market fundamentals in both the local and global steel markets. Additionally, Brazilian exports to the United States are temporarily exempt from measures related to the Section 232 investigation.

Russia

Negotiations in the Russian Federation remain arduous. Trading houses continue to be frustrated with the pricing positions adopted by their domestic suppliers. The latest initiative is viewed as unwarranted and not supported by underlying demand.

India

The Indian steel industry is forecasting that underlying demand will remain strong until mid-June, supported by government infrastructure spending and strengthening consumer demand. Nonetheless, MEPS notes growing resistance from end-users to the recent price increases. Moreover, the Modi government signalled it planned to formally lodge a trade dispute against the United States, at the World Trade Organisation (WTO), if the Trump administration does not exempt Indian steel goods from rising tariffs.

Ukraine

Supply chain participants report no changes to business activity, in the Ukrainian steel market. Stockists are concerned about carrying too much inventory over the next two months, fearing a downward price correction. Export activity is stable, with prices under renewed negative pressure following developments in the Chinese market.

Turkey

End-user demand in Turkey is tepid, disrupted by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (National Sovereignty and Children’s Day), and renewed political uncertainty. Presidential and parliamentary elections are scheduled for June. The depreciation of the Turkish lira against the US dollar further exacerbated the situation. Scrap brokers predict that the domestic mills will try to push scrap prices down again in the near future, as both export and local demand remains slow.

UAE

Challenging business conditions persist, in the United Arab Emirates. Distributors are adopting a “wait-and-see” attitude, expecting purchasing activity to slow down ahead of the festive month of Ramadan. However, the outlook for the remainder of 2018 is positive, after the announcement of new commercial, residential and infrastructure projects, in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Outside the GCC region, export opportunities are limited.

South Africa

South Africa’s Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) failed to persuade the US government to exempt the country’s steel and aluminium exports, from the tariffs, stipulated in the Section 232 proclamation. In further submissions, the ministry proposed a settlement based on 70 percent of the 2017 exports as a quota to the US. South Korea negotiated a similar quota arrangement with provisions, in late March.

Mexico

Mexican steel traders retain a cautious outlook for the second quarter. Downstream buying activity is unsettled by the aggressive pricing strategies adopted by domestic suppliers. Moreover, developments across the border in the United States continue to be watched carefully. Meanwhile, the National Chamber of Iron and Steel Industry (CANACERO) pressed the government for additional measures to protect the domestic manufacturing and steel industries from foreign competition.

INTERNATIONAL STEEL PRICES PEAK AS CHINESE VALUES TUMBLE

The recent slide of Chinese steel prices is likely to threaten the short-term sustainability of world steel values. MEPS’ research indicates that decreases in selling figures in China are usually a precursor for negative price pressure to be applied on world markets.

Chinese steelmakers, which are responsible for around half of the world’s production, have previously been accused of selling material at below cost, in order to offload their excess supply. Amid a weak domestic trading environment, Chinese suppliers could be encouraged, in the coming months, to increase their export volumes. However, MEPS have reports that a number of Chinese steel manufacturers intend to bring forward planned maintenance work, as a consequence of the sliding spot prices.

Despite the likelihood that world prices have reached their peak in the current cycle, MEPS forecasts that global steel producers should retain a large proportion of the price gains they secured from the beginning of 2016. The introduction of a number of countervailing and antidumping cases, notably in North America and Europe, will give steelmakers, in these regions, a degree of protection from the direct threat of low priced imports.

No country is immune to the ripple effect caused by reduced Chinese export prices, which are traditionally the lowest in the world. However, the global steel marketplace is now, arguably, better prepared to withstand the repercussions.

Source: MEPS International Steel Review – April 2017 Edition

CHINESE STEEL PRICES CONTINUE TO ADVANCE, IN FEBRUARY

MEPS Chinese dealer prices increased marginally across flat and long products, in February, despite slow activity, in the region, due to the Lunar New Year celebrations.

In February, MEPS reported that domestic transaction prices for hot dipped galvanised coil escalated by RMB50 per tonne. Selling figures for plate and cold rolled coil advanced by RMB30 per tonne. Hot rolled coil values rose by RMB20 per tonne.

In long products, medium sections prices increased, last month, by RMB20 per tonne as wire rod and reinforcing bar values were steady, month-on-month. However, merchant bar figures contracted by RMB10 per tonne.

Chinese domestic steel selling figures are likely to advance further, in the short term, as steel consumption, especially in the construction sector, is expected to ramp up.

However, MEPS believes that the price recovery will be temporary, with activity, in most steel consuming sectors, projected to slow down in the third trimester.

Source: MEPS