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Metinvest to upgrade Azovstal’s blast furnace #4

25 October 2013

Metinvest Group will invest over USD 92 million to upgrade Azovstal’s blast furnace #4. The work will increase the furnace’s annual output by 25% to 1.1 million tons of iron.

The upgrade will take 120 days and start in June 2014. Currently, tenders and the selection of a contractor are in progress. Contracts are also being concluded with equipment suppliers.

The project will bring the furnace’s operational parameters into compliance with European environ-mental standards. The furnace’s environmental protection equipment will be completely reconstructed, including its skip pit treatment facilities, the bell-less top unit, and the blast furnace gas cleaning system.

Other units to be modernized include the cast house aspiration systems. The systems’ existing elec-trostatic precipitator will be switched for a bag filter with replaced air pipes, valves, and exhaust spouts. The new system will increase flue gas purification by up to 99%. Emissions levels will be be-low the 50 mg\m3 required by Ukrainian legislation.

The modernization will also feature a number of technological innovations. The hearth and bottom will be made of graphite and microporous carbon blocks with a ceramic cup. This design will reduce heat losses and coke consumption, while increasing the scheduled time between overhauling from 10-12 years to 15-20 years.

A state-of-the-art castable refractory will be installed as iron and slag runner lining to achieve maxi-mum separation of melting products. The runners will be covered to eliminate dust and emissions of harmful substances. Cast houses will be expanded and two-storied. Instrumentation, automation, and the process control system will be upgraded.

"The crisis in the metallurgical industry does not mean that Metinvest’s development projects have been frozen,” said Enver Tskitishvili, Azovstal’s general director. “Assets are being modernized. The upgrade to blast furnace #4 will be the key challenge for Azovstal next year. We will increase furnace performance without an additional impact on Mariupol’s environment. In fact, the new cleaning systems will allow for the total utilization of flue gases.”

For editors:

Azovstal Iron & Steel Works is a modern manufacturer of steel products including slabs, bars, shapes, rails, rail fasteners, square billets, plates, and products from metallurgical slag. It can annually produce over 5.5 million tons of iron, over 6.2 million tons of steel, and over 4.4 million tons of rolled steel products.

Metinvest Group is a vertically integrated group of steel and mining companies that manages every link of the value chain, from mining and processing iron ore and coal to making and selling semi-finished and finished steel products. It has steel and mining production facilities in Ukraine, Europe and the US, as well as a sales network covering all key global markets. Its strategic vision to become the leading vertically integrated steel producer in Europe, delivering sustainable growth and profitability resilient to business cycles and providing investors with returns above industry benchmarks. The Group reported revenue of USD 3.1 billion and an EBITDA margin of 15% in the first quarter of 2013. The major shareholders of Metinvest B.V. (the holding company for Metinvest Group) are SCM Group (71.25%) and Smart-Holding (23.75%), which partner in the Group’s management. Metinvest Holding, LLC is the management company of Metinvest Group.