Upgrade will produce 3.38 Mt/y of hot metal

20th May 2016

International engineering company Paul Wurth has been contracted to reline a blast furnace at international steel products manufacturer NLMK’s Lipetsk plant, in Russia, to yield nominal production of 3.38-million tons of hot metal a year.

Paul Wurth will adapt the basic engineering of the existing blast furnace, working in close collaboration with local design institute Lipetsk Gipromez. The new blast furnace will have a hearth diameter of 12 m, an inner volume of 3 818 m3, 32 tuyeres and four tapholes.

The company is responsible for the engineering and supply of equipment and technology for the project, as well as performing on-site supervision. Paul Wurth will supply the blast furnace shell, hearth lining with supermicroporous carbon and ceramic cup, all cooling elements (including copper and cast iron staves, copper cooling boxes and tuyere coolers), low energy tuyere stocks and a new bustle pipe.

Paul Wurth will also supply the cooling water-pump house and all general electrical and control equipment, while the original Bell Less Top charging system will be replaced by a parallel-hopper charging system (including equalising and bleeder valves) with 60 m3 hopper volume.

All hardware and equipment will be supplied by the second half of 2017 and the furnace is expected to be erected within a scheduled 135 days shutdown at the plant beginning in February 2018.

Paul Wurth is also upgrading important auxiliary plants related to the furnace.

Paul Wurth further claims to have completed one of the largest capacity increases ever seen from a single blast furnace rebuild at Indian steel producer JSW Steel’s Vijayanagar Works in Toranagallu, Karnataka, India, in February.

The upgrade of the blast furnace entailed a complete rebuild of the existing furnace with modernisation, size increase and capacity expansion. The furnace now has an increased inner volume of 2 307 m3 (from 1 250 m3), as well as an increased hearth diameter of 10.4 m, compared with the previous 8 m of the old furnace. The daily hot metal rate of the new furnace is 5 250 t, which is 89% more than the furnace was capable of producing before the upgrade.