Vertically integrated business model
Finished products are manufactured much closer to the Group’s client base. This allows NLMK to minimize expenditure on production and logistics while at the same time swiftly and flexibly adapting to the changing requirements of our end users and the situation in local sales markets.
Coke is produced from coking coal in the coke batteries at the coke plant. It is used as a fuel and as a reducing agent in blast furnace smelting. Of the coke used, 40–45% is produced at the Lipetsk site, and the remainder arrives from Group subsidiary Altai-Koks. The Lipetsk and Altai-Koks coke plants operate as part of a single manufacturing network, making it possible to optimize production processes and ensuring high-quality products.
Sinter, iron ore pellets, and coke are loaded into the blast furnace to produce pig iron. Heated air, natural gas, and pulverized coal are injected into the furnace from the bottom. Iron is reduced from ore in the smelting process, and liquid pig iron and slag are obtained as outputs. The pig iron is sent to the BOF shops for further processing (steel production).
All steel at NLMK’s Lipetsk plant is smelted in basic oxygen furnaces. Liquid pig iron and solid metal charge are loaded into the basic oxygen furnace and purged with oxygen and argon. Through this process, carbon, silicon, manganese, and phosphorous are oxidized and removed from the molten metal, and steel is obtained as a result. The steel is cast in continuous casting machines, producing slabs 200, 250, 310, and 355 mm thick; and 950–2200 mm wide.
The steel slabs are sent either to external consumers, including NLMK Group plants in Europe and the USA, or to the hot-rolling shops, where the slabs are heated to a temperature of approximately 1,250 °С and rolled (compressed between two rollers) in mill 2000. The thickness of the steel after rolling is between 1.5 and 16 mm. Part of the output is shipped to consumers, and part is sent to the cold-rolled flats shop.
In the cold-rolling shops, hot-rolled flat steel is dipped in pickling acids to remove any scale. The strip is then rolled to the necessary thickness and annealed to achieve the required mechanical, electrical, and magnetic properties (depending on the type of steel). NLMK produces cold-rolled flats up to 1800 mm wide and 0.35–2.5 mm thick.
Zinc makes it possible to increase the corrosion resistance of steel. In galvanized steel production, a cold-rolled strip is annealed and passed through a bath of molten zinc and aluminium, and then through a galvanizing unit, where the necessary zinc coating thickness is achieved. NLMK produces galvanized steel up to 1800 mm wide and 0.22–3.0 mm thick
NLMK is the largest producer of pre-painted steel in Russia. Modern equipment and state-of-the-art technology make it possible to produce high-quality steel coated with pigmented paints and varnishes, and PVC paste and film. To produce pre-painted steel, paints and varnishes with the properties, colour, and pattern specified by the customer are applied to galvanized steel. NLMK pre-painted steel combines high resistance to atmospheric corrosion with decorative qualities, strength, and ductility.
NLMK transformer steel has an outstanding range of magnetic and consumer properties to meet the needs of the global market, and can be used in almost any segment of the transformer manufacturing sector (power and distribution transformers, shunt reactors, etc.). In recent years, NLMK has mastered the production of exclusive new products with particularly low levels of specific magnetic loss (steel 0.23 mm thick and laser beam cut steel with altered domain structure).
NLMK cold-rolled NGO is divided into various alloying groups, from non-alloyed steel that does not contain silicon to high-alloy NGO steel with silicon content exceeding 3%, and from fully processed steel to semi-processed steel. The NGO steel produced is up to 1200 mm wide and 0.27–1.0 mm thick. We also produce semi-finished electrical steel products with and without guarantees of magnetic properties, for export only.