NLMK Group has started hot-testing the pulverized coal injection (PCI) unit at one of the largest blast furnaces of its Lipetsk plant, namely blast furnace No. 6 with a capacity of 3.1 million tons of pig iron per year.
This technology involves co-injecting natural gas and fine coal particles into the blast furnace, resulting in reduced coke consumption. Replacing expensive raw materials with cheaper alternatives, such as switching from coking coal to steam coal, reduces the cost of pig iron production approximately by 5%.
This resource-saving technology is being implemented at NLMK’s blast furnaces in turn. Previously, this technology was introduced at blast furnace No. 5 (2.7 million tons per year) and blast furnace No. 4 (1.8 million tons per year). Hot-testing of the PCI unit is due to begin at the largest and the most productive blast furnaces of NLMK’s Lipetsk plant, namely blast furnace No. 7 with a capacity of 4.3 million tons per year.
Konstantin Lagutin, NLMK Group Vice President for Investment Projects, said: “By the end of the year, over 90% of the plant’s blast furnace capacities will have been covered by this resource-saving PCI technology. The new unit will enable a 30% decrease in the consumption of expensive coke in the BF process; and a 50% reduction in the consumption of natural gas. It’s a key Strategy 2017 project aimed at significantly cutting costs and optimizing the use of resources.”
Hot-testing is scheduled to end and start-up to begin in Q3 2017. PCI project capex for the two blast furnaces (No. 6 & No. 7) will amount to over 6.8 billion rubles. (NLMK/Ukrainian metal)
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