Innovations

A technical upgrade programme was launched at Novolipetsk in 2000. Since then, some 200 projects have been implemented to modernize existing production facilities and build new capacity. Over RUB 220 billion have been invested, of which over RUB 21 billion were allotted to environmental projects.

Results of technical upgrade programme

200 projects

on modernization

In February 2014, NLMK Group announced a new stage in its development with Strategy 2017, which is focused on unlocking the significant internal potential of the Group’s businesses by boosting operational efficiency across the entire production chain, enhancing vertical integration in key raw materials, increasing sales of high value added (HVA) products, and pursuing environmental, safety, and human resource development programmes. Find out more about Strategy 2017.

2001 NEW CONTINUOUS HOT DIP GALVANIZING LINE

  • Capacity: 140 kt
  • Project capex: RUB 500m
  • Launch: 2001

A second Continuous Hot-Dip Galvanizing Line is put into operation at the plant.

The increase in production of galvanized steel, which is in strong demand on the market, amounted to 140 thousand tonnes. The new technological line offered an opportunity to master a new type of product, 0.3-0.5 mm thick galvanized steel. Following the launch of the new line the Company managed to increase its output of galvanized steel, which allowed Novolipetsk to bolster its position as a leader among the producers of value-added steel.

2002 UNIQUE CONTINUOUS CASTING MACHINE FOR STEEL BILLETS PRODUCTION

  • Capacity: 2 mtpa
  • Project capex: RUB 2.2b
  • Launch: 2002
  • The new technological line is aimed at producing a wide range of concast billets of different grades. Launch of CCM-4 allowed to decommission three outdated and inefficient casting units, reduce operating costs for steel casting, improve the quality and range of products.

    Automation of the entire process has ensured the reliability and trouble-free operation, improved working conditions, increased the level of environmental safety. Before that only foreign steel mills has such production facilities with similar quality and technical specifications.

2003 FIRST IN RUSSIA CR STRIP PREPARATION AND INSPECTION LINE

  • Capacity: 300 kt
  • Project capex: RUB 0.5b
  • Launch: 2003

The project was yet another stage of the programme for the quality improvement of the products with high added value, including galvanized and coated steel. Commissioning of the new service equipment expanded the competitive opportunities of Novolipetsk products in the automotive and the household appliances markets.

In contrast to the existing equipment, the new production line is intended not only for the treatment of the strip by high precision cutting of edges, but also for the sorting of cold-rolled steel. Such unique equipment allows to monitor the strip surface on both its sides simultaneously at different speeds.

  • Capacity: 320 tph
  • Project capex: Over RUB 790m
  • Launch: 2003

Novolipetsk commissioned a high-tech unit for heating steel billets before rolling. The project with the capex of over 790 million roubles has become yet another step in enhancing the competitiveness of Novolipetsk products through the introduction of advanced resource-saving and environmentally friendly technologies.

The new reheating furnace has a nominal capacity of 320 tonnes per hour for heating billets. The design features of the new furnace ensure uniform heating and high accuracy of pre-set strip parameters during further rolling. The use of modern refractory materials and new-type gas burners can significantly reduce the heating time of steel billets. The automatic control system independently controls the process of heating and energy consumption. This ensures a 50 percent less consumption of natural, blast furnace, coke oven gas and reduce the amount of nitrogen oxides and carbon emissions by an average of 27 percent.

2004 NEW PRE-PAINTING LINE

  • Capacity: 200 ktpa
  • Project capex: Over RUB 1.8b
  • Launch: 2004

A new Pre-Painting Line for cold-rolled galvanized steel with a capacity of 200 thousand tonnes per year has been commissioned. The project is part of the mill's Technical Upgrade and Development Programme.

The Company plans to produce up to 900 thousand tonnes of galvanizes steel, including 400 thousand tonnes of pre-painted steel. The share of pre-painted steel in the product mix Novolipetsk will grow from 11 percent to 18 percent. The share of Novolipetsk pre-painted steel in the domestic market will exceed 50 percent.

2005 NEW HOT-DIP GALVANIZING LINE

  • Capacity: 340 ktpa
  • Project capex: RUB 2.9b
  • Launch: 2005

Novolipetsk has commissioned a new continuous hot-dip galvanizing line (HDGL-3) for the production of galvanized steel from cold-rolled strip (annealed and non-annealed) and hot-rolled pickled strip of 0.4 - 4.0 mm thickness. Prior to that such product has to be imported, The production capabilities of the line allow the Company to respond quickly to market conditions, by converting the line to produce the most marketable products targeting both the domestic and foreign consumers. In particular, galvanized steel from 1.5-4.0 mm thick hot-rolled pickled strip is used in the construction of building structures using the principle of fast modular assembly.

2007 UPGRADE OF THE SECOND STEEL BILLET REHEATING FURNACE

After its upgrade Reheating Furnace No.4 with the capacity of 320 tonnes of steel per hour was put into operation; it is used for preheating steel billets before hot rolling. This furnace will ensure a 50 percent decrease in energy consumption (both natural and BF gas), while lowering the environmental impact by almost 30 percent.

Reheating Furnace No.4 has become the second unit (after reconstructed furnace No.5 was put into operation in 2004) at Novolipetsk, with the design features that provide a high quality slab heating and the production of flat products using advanced resource-saving green technologies.

The unique capabilities of this furnace (low steel loss rate and uniform reheating) enable it to process both carbon and grain-oriented steel slabs. Overall capex of the project exceeded1.5 million roubles; the project is part of Stage II of NLMK Technical Upgrade Programme for 2007 – 2011.

2008 HIGH CAPACITY CCM IS PUT INTO OPERATION

  • Capacity: 2.5 mtpa
  • Project capex: about RUR 4.2b
  • Launch: 2008

Novolipetsk Steel has commissioned the Continuous Casting Machine for steel billets (CCM-6) with a capacity of 2.5 million tonnes of steel per year after its upgrade. It is aimed to produce a wide range of high-quality concast billets of different grades.

The upgrade allowed to increase the CCM capacity by 1.2 million tonnes, ensure high quality of concast slabs’ surface and internal structure, and lower operational costs.

2009 FOURTH CONTINUOUS HOT DIP GALVANIZING LINE

  • Production capacity: 300 ktpa
  • Project capex: RUB 2.5b
  • Launch: 2009

Due to the launch of HDGL-4, Novolipetsk has entered the market with a new HVA product that had never been produced in Russia before. The new production line allowed to master the production of thinner (as thin as 0.22 mm) galvanized steel of low-carbon grades.

This steel product is primarily used in construction and household appliances manufacturing. Before that the demand of Russian companies in thin galvanized steel was mainly satisfied by import supplies. With the launch of the new line Novolipetsk has increased the galvanized steel output to reach 1.2 million tonnes.

2010 MAJOR ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION PROJECT IN BOF STEELMAKING

  • Launch: 2010
  • Project capex: RUB 6.6b

Novolipetsk Steel has completed one of the key environmental projects of its Technical Upgrade Programme, Stage II, on revamping off-gas system including the construction of secondary emission collection and cleaning system in BOF Shop No.1. The steel produced in BOF Shop No.1 accounts for about 40 percent of all Novolipetsk steel. This project has allowed to reduce the impact of steelmaking facilities on the environment by over a half. This project is also an essential condition for the expansion of steel-making capacity at Novolipetsk after the launch of Blast Furnace No.7, with a capacity of 3.4 million tonnes.

Starting from 2009, the Company carried out a stage-by-stage equipment of three BOFs with a new dust collection system complying with the best environmental requirements of the time. The anthropogenic impact on the environment will be reduced due to the introduction of new technical solutions and equipment of the facilities with a single highly-efficient dust collection and cleaning system for the BOF charging and tapping processes.

2011 PRE-PAINTING LINE (PPL-3)

  • Production capacity: 200 ktpa
  • Project capex: RUB 3.4b
  • Launch: 2010

The project to build a new, third in a row, the pre-painting line for cold-rolled galvanized steel (PPL-3) aims at increasing the output of high value-added products. With the commissioning of PPL-3, Novolipetsk production capacities of pre-painted flats have grown almost by 60 percent – from 340 thousand to 540 thousand tonnes per year.

The state-of-the-art PPL-3 complex allows Novolipetsk to make pre-painted steel as good as its global analogues and gives teh mill an opportunity to compete on a global scale.

During the construction of PPL-3 the most up-to-date innovative developments were used, that allowed to achieve the highest level of industrial automation, high productivity and energy efficiency, exceptional product quality and the best environmental performance.

ROSSIYANKA BLAST FURNACE

  • Production capacity: 4.2 mtpa
  • Project capex: over RUB 43b
  • The launch of construction: 2008
  • First pig iron: 2011

Rossiyanka is the first and only blast furnace built in the former soviet territory in the last 25 years. One of the most efficient blast furnaces in the world. This is the most important facility of Novolipetsk Technical Upgrade Programme. The start-up of Rossiyanka BF complex and a new BOF resulted in the increase of Novolipetsk steel-making capacities by 36 percent to reach 12.4 million tonnes. The pig iron produced by Rossiyanka blast furnace is used in Novolipetsk BOF production for making different grades of steel.

The whole technological flow of Rossiyanka is based on the best available environmental and resource-saving technologies, i.e. highly-efficient de-dusting and closed water loop systems. Contemporary domestic technical solutions make one able to decrease gross emissions into the atmosphere more than 200 times against the blast furnaces operated in the industry.

The blast furnace gas from Rossiyanka is used as a raw material to generate electricity at the new 150 MW recovery co-generation plant.

RECOVERY CO-GENERATION PLANT

  • Capacity: 150 МW
  • Project capex: RUB 6.8b
  • Launch: 2011

The Recovery Co-Generation Plant has improved the efficiency of power generation of associated gas that is a by-product of coke, blast furnace and BOF production. With the commissioning of Co-Generation Plant the self-sufficiency in electric power plant has reached 53 percent.

The Recovery Co-Generation Plant is a state-of-the-art processing facility comprising three 50 MW turbine generators, three steam-generation boilers, a water preparation unit, water cooling towers, etc. The raw material for the production of electricity at the Recovery Co-Generation Plant is blast furnace gas from Rossiyanka furnace.

The implementation of the project allowed to reduce total emissions into the atmosphere more than fifteen times compared to the old technology.

NEW BASIC OXYGEN FURNACE

  • Capacity: 320 tph
  • Project capex: over RUB 790m
  • Launch: 2003

Novolipetsk Steel has commissioned a new 300-tonne basic oxygen furnace (BOF). The launch of the BOF along with other measures has increaseds the steel output at NLMK Group’s Lipetsk site by 36 percent to reach 12.4 million tonnes per year.

The project is a part of the Company’s investment programme aimed at increasing the cost-efficiency of BOF steel production at its Russian steelmaking assets with access to raw materials.

The total investment in the construction of the new BOF is about 14.8 billion roubles. (VAT included).


High performance RH vacuum degasser

A new RH vacuum degasser with a capacity of 4 million tonnes of steel a year has been commissioned, which allows the Company to provide high-quality slabs for the Group's rolling assets in Russia and Europe, as now all the steel produced will undergo second metallurgy treatment. The product mix will expand due to the mastering of new steel grades, used for the subsequent production of gas and oil pipes used in severe acidic environment, and thin-gage highly plastic sheets for automotive industry.

The project has been implemented as part of NLMK' s Technical Upgrade Programme. The total investment in the project amounts to over 3.6 billion roubles.


Revamping of the continuous billet casting machine (CCM-8)

Due to CCM-8 revamping, Novolipetsk has become the first Russian steelmaker able to produce slabs with a thickness up to 355 mm; previously the maximum thickness of slabs, cast at continuous casting machines in Russia reached 300 mm. Novolipetsk new products allowed to use them for further production of plates, which are in great demand of machine engineering and energy industries.

The project allowed to expand the product mix at the same time ensuring a consistently high quality of billets (slabs) for further rolling, including at the European assets (NLNK DanSteel, NLMK Clabecq и NLMK Verona).

The plates produced from unique sizes of slabs is used to produce off-shore wind turbines and drilling rigs, as well as in shipbuilding. As for the domestic market, Novolipetsk supplies steel billets with high requirements to the chemistry and macrostructure, of unique sizes to Vyksa steel mill (VMZ, part of OMK Group) to be used in production of wide sheet metal and large-diameter pipes.

The cost of the project is 4.7 billion roubles and it has been implemented as part of Stage II of NLMK Technical Upgrade Programme.


The first slab is produces at Reheating Furnace No.3

Novolipetsk has commissioned a unit for pre-heating steel billets before hot rolling. After the revamping, the capacity of the facility has increased by 23 percent to reach 320 tonnes of steel per hour. The new facility will allow decreasing specific fuel consumption by 35 percent, as well as burning losses of steel and harmful emissions and consequently stabilizing the rolling process.

The reheating furnace No.3 is the third new-type facility at Novolipetsk Hot Rolling Production (reheating furnace No.5 was commissioned after an upgrade in 2004, reheating furnace No.4 – in 2007). Design features of such furnaces ensure uniform energy-saving heating of slabs resulting in high precision of strip parameters at rolling. Technological capabilities of these units enable them to process both carbon and grain-oriented steel slabs.

The project was part of the action plan for the reconstruction of HRM 2000 equipment with a view to expand hot-rolled steel production at Novolipetsk up to 5.7 million tonnes while ensuring the required quality, due to improved productivity of the existing equipment.

The cost of the project is about 1.9 billion roubles and it has been implemented as part of Stage II of NLMK Technical Upgrade Programme.

2012 GROWTH OF BETTER QUALITY STEEL OUTPUT

Novolipetsk has commissioned a 5.8 million tonnes per year capacity two-station unit of pig iron desulfurization. The new facility will allow to increase the share of low-sulfur metal and to expand the range of steels with improved quality characteristics.

The project has been implemented as part of stage II of Technical Upgrade Programme, and is directly linked to the plans of expanding the production from 9 to 12.4 million tonnes of steel after the commissioning of Rossiyanka blast furnace and new BOF. Earlier, three pig iron desulfurization units with the joint capacity of 7 million tonnes per year were put into operation at BOF production. Now, the commissioning of new facilities will enable Novolipetsk to process the entire volume of pig iron, ensuring the maximum sulphur content of 0.005 percent in the melt before pouring it into BOFs.

The production complex is equipped with a high-efficiency waste gas removal system which guarantees environmental performance corresponding to the best available practices.

The total project capex amounted to 1.5 billion roubles.