Continuous billet caster revamped by Primetals Technologies started up at Feralpi Siderurgica in Italy

  • Production capacity was increased by 10 percent to 1.2 million metric tons per year
  • Billet cross section is raised to 150 x 150 millimeters with predisposition for 160 x 160 millimeters
  • Plant availability is increased

Recently, a six-strand billet caster revamped by Primetals Technologies was started up in the Lonato del Garda works of Feralpi Siderurgica S.p.A., part of the Italian Feralpi Group. The aims of the project were to increase production capacity from 1.1 to 1.2 million metric tons of billets per year, to produce billets with a larger square cross section of 150 x 150 millimeters with predisposition for cross section of 160 x 160, millimeters, and to improve plant availability.

Before the revamp, the six-strand billet caster of Feralpi Siderurgica in Lonato del Garda in the Brescia Province, had an installed annual capacity of 1,1 million metric tons of billets with a square cross sections of 140 x 140 millimeters. It produces medium carbon, carbon and low alloyed steels for the construction industry. Within the revamping project, the casting machine was equipped with new DiaMold high-speed casting molds, characterized by tapered mold tubes and open bottom-mold corners to reduce strand friction. The DynaFlex hydraulic oscillator with online and flexible adjustment of the mold-oscillation parameters serves to improve strand-surface quality. The scope of supply included a new secondary cooling and a dummy bar head and the existing straightener has been modified according to Primetals Technologies´ model of continuous straightening to optimize the straightening strains. Primetals Technologies was responsible for the basis, detail engineering and supply of the above components.

Feralpi Group is one of the most important steel suppliers to the European construction industry. The group operates four subsidiary companies in Italy and runs production and sales locations in Europe and North Africa. Feralpi Siderurgica was founded in 1968 and is thus the oldest member of the Feralpi Group. The company is today one of the leading suppliers of reinforcing steel, wire rod, reinforcement meshes and the associated derivatives in Italy.

Continuous billet caster modernized by Primetals Technologies in the Lonato del Garda, Italy works of Feralpi Siderurgica

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.

Source: Primetals Technologies

Steel Buyers Alerted to Imminent Price Rises – MEPS

MEPS International Ltd predicts a recovery in steel selling values throughout Western Europe, in the near term. Declining supplies of iron ore from Brazil are leading to increased costs of this key element in the production of flat rolled products.

Market demand is expected to expand over the next six months as the weather improves and construction activity grows. Orders from the domestic vehicle manufacturing sector are projected to gradually pick up. However, the size of the steel price rises in 2019 are likely to be lower than the equivalent increases noted in 2018.

Source: MEPS International Ltd – News Alert

glowing orange steel in a Steel Mill based in Arequipa, Peru

Aceros Arequipa Orders Steel Mill and Continuous Billet Caster from SMS Group

Corporación Aceros Arequipa S.A. (CAASA), based in Arequipa, Peru, has awarded SMS group an order covering the supply of mechatronic equipment for a new steel mill and a billet caster with six strands for its Pisco site. The plant is designed for an annual capacity of 1,200,000 tons and will produce billets with sections of 130, 160 and 180 millimeters. Commissioning is scheduled for early 2020.

In terms of the steel mill, SMS group will supply a 120-ton AC electric arc furnace equipped with innovative technology to secure high productivity levels. A CONDOOR automated slag door will reduce downtimes and thus make the process more efficient. The CONSO injection system, in combination with the AEREG electrode controller, will permit over 180 tons of steel to be produced every hour in a steady and continuous process. SMS group’s scope of supply also includes a ladle furnace meeting all requirements with regard to the respective steel composition.

The steel mill will be equipped with a gas cleaning plant capable of processing over 2,200,000 cubic meters of process gas per hour, with the frustum exhaust hood from SMS group permitting the gases produced during furnace charging and tapping to be captured and extracted more effectively. The gas cleaning plant will comply with the strictest environmental regulations.

SMS Concast, an SMS group company, will supply a continuous billet caster with six strands. The caster will have a casting radius of nine meters and be equipped with the proven CONVEX® mold, a technology that is both widespread and well-established on the market. The special inside geometry of the mold allows for a greater transfer of heat across the whole mold, with a uniform degree of solidification in the corners. The efficient strand shell guidance in the mold with maximum symmetrical cooling not only increases the casting speed but, at the same time, improves the quality of the cast product. The CONFLOW tundish stopper is used to ensure a stable flow of steel and a reliable casting process. CONSTIR, an electromagnetic stirrer used as mold and final stirrer, ensures the required metallurgical quality. A new alternating oscillator allows for high flexibility and thus enhanced productivity.

A significant reduction in operating costs will be achieved thanks to the direct connection to the rolling mills. Depending on the desired quality, the billets can either be rolled directly or be taken to the rolling mill after they have slowly cooled down.

SMS group’s scope of supply includes basic and detail engineering, supply of all mechanical and electrical components, the entire electrical and automation system including an integrated process control system (level 2) which monitors the steel quality from the scrap yard to the billet storage area, as well as the supervision of erection and commissioning.

Aceros Arequipa manufactures long and flat steel products, including corrugated iron, wire rod, steel profiles, bars and tubes, as well as steel tools and components for the construction, civil engineering and mining industries. The company supplies the local market and exports to Columbia, Ecuador, and Bolivia.

The new plant will allow Aceros Arequipa to expand its presence on the local market and in South America and to offer higher-quality products.

SMS group is a group of companies internationally active in plant construction and mechanical engineering for the steel and nonferrous metals industry. It has some 14,000 employees who generate worldwide sales of about EUR 3 billion. The sole owner of the holding company SMS GmbH is the Familie Weiss Foundation.

Source: SMS Group

JSW Steel Ltd & DITH: “Partnering for Growth”

JSW Steel Ltd, flagship Company of JSW Group (“JSW”) and Duferco International Trading Holding S.A. (“DITH”) have again aligned their strategic goals in a landmark USD 700 million 5-year Advance Payment and Supply Agreement (“APSA”) executed on the 27th February 2019.  

This unique financing structure provides JSW long term funding to complement its plans for future growth secured by committed exports of steel products to DITH.  For DITH the transaction assures a captive supply of various steel products from JSW over the term of the APSA.

The transaction further cements the long-term relationship between the two groups which have partnered together in various commercial ventures during the past 15 years. The deal is the largest trade finance facility to have been arranged in the Indian steel sector. In the past, JSW and DITH have entered into similar trade financing arrangements on smaller scale but for a longer term, all of which were successfully executed and completed.

The deal has been arranged and financed by the global banks BNP Paribas, Citibank, Credit Suisse, ING, Mashreqbank, Natixis, Societe Generale, Standard Chartered Bank acting as Mandated Lead Arrangers and Bookrunners. The commitment of the financing partners reflects the strong confidence held in both JSW and DITH when taking into consideration a transaction of this size and terms.

The structured long-term trade finance transaction is an important deal in diversifying the sources of financing for JSW Steel. This not only enables JSW to raise funds at competitive rates but also assures incremental volume of sales in export markets leveraging the wide spread global network of the DITH Group Companies. This transaction is a win-win for both the organisations.

Mr. Seshagiri Rao, JMD and Group CFO

We are delighted to have concluded such a significant structured trade finance transaction; this corroborates our faith in the sustainability of steel trading and indeed is a material statement of confidence in the reliability of our partner JSW. We look forward to facilitating JSW’s existing and future steel exports to a diverse and multinational customer base.

Mr. Matthew De Morgan, DITH Group CEO

About JSW Steel Ltd

JSW Steel Ltd. is the flagship company of the diversified USD13 billion JSW Group which has a leading presence in sectors such as steel, energy, infrastructure, cement and sports among others. From a single manufacturing unit in the early 1980s, JSW Steel Ltd, today, is one of the foremost integrated steel companies in India with an installed capacity of 18 MTPA and has plans to scale up in India and overseas. JSW Steel’s manufacturing facility at Vijayanagar, Karnataka is the largest single location steel-producing facility in India with a capacity of 12 MTPA.

The Company has been at the forefront of state-of-the-art, cutting-edge technology, research and innovation while laying the foundation for long-term growth. Strategic collaboration with global technology leaders to offer high-value special steel products for various applications across construction, automobile, appliances and other sectors. JSW Steel Ltd. has been widely recognised for its business and operational excellence. Key awards include the Deming Prize for Total Quality Management at Vijayanagar (2018) and the DJSI Robeco SAM Sustainability Industry Mover Award (2018) among others.

About DITH

The DITH Group is the world’s leading independent trader and a prominent distributor and processor of Steel Products and associated raw materials. It has a world-wide network of offices and processing sites enjoying a physical presence in 82 countries across five continents.  DITH’s wealth of experience in the international steel supply chain is world renowned and boasts a global footprint serving over 49,000 customers in 108 countries achieving a turnover of over USD7 billion with sales approaching 12 million tons per annum. Duferco SA is a subsidiary and the principal operating company within a group controlled by Duferco International Trading Holding SA.

Red Danieli Wirerod Machine

Danieli to Supply Two New H3 Wirerod Mills in Russia

Two new High-productivity, High-quality and High-efficiency H3 rolling mills will be installed and put into operation in Russia during 2020. AEMZ – Abinsk Electric Steel Works Ltd. ordered a new 600,000-tpy H3 wirerod line to be installed at Abinsk, in the Krasnodar region, to produce wirerod coils (5.5- to 16-mm-dia smooth rounds; 6- to 12-mm-dia quenched and microalloyed rebar) for construction purposes, welding wire and CHQ grades.

NPZ – Novorossiysk Rolling Plant LLC ordered a new 500,000-tpy H3 wirerod mill to be installed at Novorossiysk, Krasnodar region, to roll 150×150 billets into 5.5 to 16-mm-dia wirerod and deformed wirerod in coils weighing up to 2.1 tons.

Depending on customer requirements, Danieli H3 mills operate at over 100 m/sec, and consist of ESS Energy Saving System cantilever-type and SHS housingless stands and fast-finishing blocks.

The Danieli Structure Control System includes a water-cooling line suitable for wirerod quenching and controlled cooling, whilst Oil-Film Bearing loop-laying head, Rotary Reforming Tube and Easy-Down System guarantee perfect coil pattern.

Danieli H3 mills typically are supplied along with Danieli Centro Combustion reheating furnaces equipped with the latest-generation, ultra-low NOx emission, flat MAB flameless burners.

Danieli Automation provides process control, power and instrumentation like medium-voltage Q-DRIVE, HiPROFILE LITE and HiSECTION measuring devices for in-line tracking and product monitoring, and the HiLINE optical system for rolling guides set-up, and for rolls and guides alignment of the fast finishing blocks.

Source: Danieli

the front cover of the February 2019 issue of MEPS Stainless Steel Review

Raw Material Hikes Prompt Stainless Steel Recovery

The recent upturn in raw material values has spurred stainless steel producers to introduce price increases – in some cases, over and above the amount necessary to cover the rise in mill input costs.

LME nickel values have been on an upward trend, since early January. Nevertheless, the increase was insufficient to bring about an uptick in European alloy surcharges for austenitic stainless steels, in February. This, because costs for chromium, molybdenum and steel scrap fell, during the calculation reference period.

This means that the surcharges for nickel-bearing grades, in Europe, had decreased for seven consecutive months. During this time, nominal basis values – the difference between the effective price and the alloy surcharge – having plummeted in the first half of 2018, as surcharges soared, failed to recover in the manner that market participants expected.

However, while alloy extras dropped again in February, effective prices for austenitic flat products, in Europe, remained stable or, in a few cases, increased. This represents an upturn in nominal basis figures. Alloy surcharges will rise again, in March, and European producers are predicted to push for further price hikes, in excess of the changes to alloy extras. This turnaround has been anticipated for some time, as mills have been selling at values which were, clearly, not covering their production costs.

In the United States, the leading stainless steelmaker, North American Stainless, recently announced basis price increases, for bars and hot rolled plates, effective March 1. However, no such proposal has been made, at the time of writing, with regards to coil products. US producers have less requirement for price increases than their European counterparts, because trade measures, such as antidumping duties and Section 232 quotas and tariffs, have kept US domestic values at a relatively high level.

Chinese market prices, which tend to respond quickly to changes in raw material costs, took a positive turn, in February, following the Lunar New Year celebrations. Stainless steel producers in South Korea and Taiwan, achieved moderate hikes, for February contracts. Their intentions to seek further increases, in March negotiations, have already been indicated. Japanese market values have been stable, for many months. Local suppliers’ efforts to apply increases met with very limited success, in February. However, MEPS expects them to continue to press for price increments, in the coming months.

Source: MEPS Stainless Steel Review