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Metinvest presents to Mariupol community a project of Azovstal blast furnace environmental revamp

14 November 2017

Metinvest Group invests UAH 2 billion into the revamp of Blast Furnace (BF) No. 3 at Azovstal Iron and Steel Works. Dust emissions are expected to decrease by 80%. The company will allocate additional over UAH 2.2. billion before 2021 for environmental programs of the enterprise. To review the progress of ecological modernization, on November 14 Azovstal was visited by the deputy chairman of Donetsk regional administration Viktor Remsky, the mayor of Mariupol Vadim Boichenko along with independent experts and representatives of public organizations.

The revamp of blast furnace No. 3 envisages its complete reconstruction, where the furnace shell will be replaced, and the furnace will be fit with state-of-the-art equipment, refractory materials and process control automation system. The installation of a new closed circuit cooling system will allow to stop using sea water. Similarly to blast furnaces No. 4 and 2, blast furnace No. 3 will be transferred to pulverized coal, which will allow to save up to 30 mln. m3 of natural gas per year.

The environmental protection system of BF No. 3 will cost Metinvest Group almost UAH 400 mln. A closed-type two-level cast house will be built with high capacity gas cleaning bag filters. A similar technical solution has already proved successful on the new blast furnace No.4, where it allows to improve the efficiency of waste gas cleaning by 80% and achieve the European environmental standards.

Following the revamp in the late of 2018, BF No. 3 will have a capacity of 4 ths. t of hot metal per day and will become a state-of-the-art metallurgical installation of this kind in Europe. Top-notch technical solutions will help Azovstal reduce the consumption of natural gas and blast furnace coke.

The guests were able to witness that the pulverized coal injection (PCI) plant commissioned in 2017 has been operating to the best available environmental and industrial safety standards. This was achieved through the airtightness of the installation and closed fuel circulation system.  A high capacity bag filter of German manufacturer Küttner will provide for additional protection from dust emission to the air. Total investments into PCI technology for blast furnace operation amounted to over UAH 700 mln. 

After the site visit, the participants of the working meeting had a discussion on the execution of the Environmental Protection Program and ecology improvement in Mariupol focusing on the ecological issues that are most vital for the city, including the recycling of metallurgical slag. Viktor Remsky emphasized that the regional administration will support the projects aimed at addressing the issue.  

Viktor Remsky, the deputy chairman of Donetsk regional administration:  

— I would like to emphasize that the scheduled environmental activities agreed among the regional, municipal administration and Metinvest are on track. Some areas, however, would be good to speed up. The slag pile is our concern. Let us work together, prepare the bills and  submit them to Verkhovna Rada for approval that the slag could be used for residential house building and road construction.

Vadim Boichenko, the mayor of Mariupol:

— We keep every item of the municipal environmental program under control. Certain results have been achieved, yet a lot is still to be done. It takes the will of the mills’ management to keep air pollution going down. It takes significant investments to modernize the equipment. And it also takes public control and tough process discipline.

Enver Tskitishvili, the general director of Azovstal Iron and Steel Works:

— We make it our goal to complete the reconstruction of hot metal production facilities and introduce the state-of-the-art ecological and energy efficient technologies within the next five years. We will continue delivering on our emission reduction commitments before the community. Metinvest investments into the environmental projects of the blast furnace and basic oxygen furnace shops alone will total UAH 2.2 bln before 2021. This is not an easy task in the current situation when the unstable operation of the railway regularly interrupts the production process. Yet we understand that we invest not just into the equipment modernization, but the future of Mariupol and Ukraine’s steel industry. We stay open to the community and are willing to hold regular working meetings that the people of the city receive accurate information about the situation at the mills.