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16 September 2011

NLMK starts hot testing new RH degasser

Novolipetsk has started hot tests at a new 4 mtpa RH vacuum degasser. Following its commissioning in Q3 2011, the Company will be able to ensure a supply of high quality slabs to its rolling assets both in Russia and in Europe, as all of the steel produced will now go through ladle treatment. Product mix will expand as a result of mastering the production of new grades used for the manufacture of heavy-duty gas and oil pipes suitable for acid conditions, and high ductility light gage steels for car manufacturing.

This RUR3.6 billion project is part of NLMK's Technical Upgrading Program and is being implemented together with SMS Mevac (Germany).

The RH degasser is part of the secondary metallurgy complex of BOF Shop No.2, along with two new ladle furnaces (LFs), with 8 mtpa total capacity, commissioned last year, and five ladle metallurgy furnaces (LMFs). Secondary metallurgy facilities of BOF Shop No.1 include a 400 ktpa degasser and three revamped LMFs. Moreover, NLMK is constructing two additional ladle furnaces, each with 2 mtpa. Their launch is tentatively scheduled for Q4 2011.

Degasser pre-commissioning activities, including cold alignment checks, hydraulic, electrical equipment and drive system adjustments, have been completed successfully.

For reference:

The main objectives of Stage II of NLMK's Technical Upgrade Program (2007 to 2012) are:
- To increase steel output by 40% to 17.4 mtpa, including from 9 to 12.4 mtpa at the Lipetsk site;
- To develop secondary metallurgy at the Lipetsk site;
- To achieve maximum self-sufficiency in basic raw materials;
- To increase finished rolled product output through the revamping and construction of new rolling facilities;
- To increase labor efficiency and improve environmental performance.