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18 April 2011

NLMK Group’s VIZ-Stal prepares to launch high-permeability transformer steel production

NLMK Group is going ahead with its plans to master the production of high permeability transformer steel (HPS). Its fully owned subsidiary based in the Urals, VIZ-Stal, is planning to launch a 70,000 tpa HPS facility by 2014. The Company has started the reconstruction of its two decarburizing annealing lines in order to set up a process flow for mastering the production of premium transformer steel.

The project is being implemented jointly with LOI Thermprocess (Germany). Its overall cost is expected to be approximately RUR2.4 billion. The plan for 2011 comprises the engineering of the new line and the dismantling of the existing equipment. Startup of the furnace is scheduled for 2013.
As part of the project, VIZ-Stal has also started the construction of a reversing cold-rolling mill with an annual capacity of 75,000 tonnes. The new rolling complex will replace the old dismantled mill in the existing cold-rolling shop.
The construction of the reversing cold-rolling mill is to be finalized before the end of this year. The project will cost around RUR1.4 billion and is being performed in association with Andritz-Sundwig (Germany).

As a result of these large-scale upgrades at VIZ-Stal, NLMK Group will be able to expand its high-permeability transformer steel production capacity from 60,000 tpa (at the main production site in Lipetsk) to 130,000 tpa.

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VIZ-Stal LLC (an NLMK Group subsidiary) is a leading world producer of cold-rolled electrical steel and the largest producer of transformer steel in Russia. In 2007 the Company launched a Technical Upgrade Program for the period till 2015. It includes 10 investment projects on construction of new lines and reconstruction of existing ones, which will renew 50% VIZ-Stal’s equipment. The total volume of NLMK’s investment into the technical upgrade will amount to RUR8.6 billion. This reconstruction is aimed at mastering a new prospective product type – high permeability steel – as well as at improving product quality and increasing production efficiency.