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  • JSPL Raigarh Steel Plant created a new world record with 42 heats in its New Oxygen Furnace (NOF)Jindal Steel and Power Ltd.'s Raigarh Steel Plant created a new world record with 42 heats in its Steel Melting Shop’s New Oxygen Furnace (NOF). This move was made on Nov 14. Earlier Shagun Steel, China held the record with 40 heats in a single day. In a tryst to augment cost effectiveness in steel making, JSPL developed a new steel making process - New Oxygen Furnace (NOF), wherein steel is made by charging upto 90% of Liquid Hot Metal and using only chemical energy; without the aid of Electrical Energy. This innovative process ensures higher yield and productivity, low capital investment as compared to Basic Oxygen Furnace (BOF). It also leads to lower slag generation and zero electrode consumption. As part of the transition process from Electric Arc Furnace to Zero Electric Power Furnace, JSPL installed a new high end ‘Oxygen Lances’ in the Furnace along with a high precision Tilting Mechanism and Launder for continuous pouring of Liquid Metal into the Furnace.  Charging of Liquid Hot Metal from Blast Furnace into New Oxygen Furnace (NOF), was initiated for controlled and efficient steel making process. NOF has the flexibility of converting various charge mix of raw material i.e. from 100% DRI to 90% Hot Metal (Zero Electric Power) into steel efficiently.   The Furnace is highly adaptable and can be converted from Zero Power NOF to Normal Electric Arc Furnace (EAF) and vice versa in a short span of less than 24 hours.

  • Long-term iron ore supply pact for steel projects mooted by government bodyA government body has suggested joint ventures (JVs) to take care of long-term supply linkages for iron ore in a bid to fast-track setting up of steel plants in India. The government's consultancy arm, MECON, also recommended a review of issues in the Land Acquisition (Resettlement and Rehabilitation) Act (LARR Act), 2013, which makes acquisition of land difficult and leads to cost escalation. "A two-tier framework should be instituted, that is formation of JV for long-term supply linkage of iron ore to prospective steel producers and setting up of large capacity steel projects in SPV (special purpose vehicle) mode through competitive bidding route," MECON said in a report. This will help fast-track development of the steel and mining sector in India through speedy land acquisition, resettlement and rehabilitation (R&R), statutory clearances and securing ore and water linkages, it said. MECON's recommendation comes against the backdrop of Odisha suggesting to steel giant Posco in August this year a joint venture with Odisha Mineral Corporation for a long-term agreement for steady supply of iron ore. Posco is yet to respond. The steel major has put on hold its plans to set up an integrated steel plant with a potential production of 12 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) in Jagatsinghpur district in Odisha, the largest FDI in India so far.
    The proposed project has been stalled for about a decade due to various regulatory hurdles, including delays in land acquisition and mining leases. The report prepared by MECON looks at infrastructure requirements and other issues to help India achieve the vision of 300 million tonnes of steel production by 2025. India's total installed crude steel capacity is 98.3 million tonnes (mt), of which 68 mt is concentrated in the eastern region. "The steel sector has to grow at around 10 per cent per annum to achieve the target of 300 mt over the next 12 years. This is a challenging task," the report pointed out. India needs to address issues and challenges relating to demand (both domestic & export), consistent GDP growth of over 8 per cent annually, long-term raw material security, technology, environment management, R&D infrastructure and logistic support and trade policy issues, among others, it added. On land acquisition, the report suggested: "The LARR Act, 2013, needs to be reviewed to relax relevant issues that may lead to difficulty in land acquisition along with higher incidence on cost of its acquisition." It has recommended that the government frame detailed rules based on the Act and that project affected persons' criteria for loss of primary source of livelihood needs to be clearly defined.

  • Bar Assets In Ohio, Georgia to be accquired by NucorSteel products maker Nucor Corp. (NUE) has agreed to acquire Gerdau Long Steel's Bright Bar assets located in Orrville, Ohio, and Cartersville, Georgia, for an undisclosed amount. The facilities manufacture cold drawn steel bars for steel service centers and other markets across the U.S. and have a combined production capacity of 75,000 tons per year. The acquisition is expected to close later this month. The acquisition advances Nucor's strong competitive position in cold finished bar and increases its downstream participation in this channel. This acquisition improves the company's geographic coverage and expands its range of products in this market segment.
  • Narendra Singh Tomar says aim to triple steel production by 2025Union Minister for Steel and Mines Narendra Singh Tomar has said that the country is striving hard to achieve its target of tripling the current annual steel production of 100 million tonnes by 2025. “With this, India is expected to climb to the second place in steel production, from the third position,” he told the reporters during National Metallurgists’ Day celebration and awards ceremony organised by Indian Institute of Metals here on Saturday. Globally, the steel industry is going through a crisis with a fall in production by 2.3 per cent this year. However, India has been able to show a four per cent increase in production despite heavy imports from China. He said that the Union Government is committed to protect the steel industry and is also working with the industryas it is also an employment generating sector. Four new large steel plants would be established in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Karnataka. “Work is underway at two plants and it would soon begin in two other plants,” he said.  He also said the Ministry of Steel is also committed to ensure and enhance the quality of production and Steel Research and Technology Mission of India (SRTMI) research facility will be established, with corpus fund of Rs.200 crore for research and development in the metal sector. This includes equal investment of Rs. 100 crore by the industry and the steel development fund.
  • First of three LD (BOF) converters started at SSAB in Finland by Primetals Technologies    Optimized converter design boosts productivity
        Maintenance-free converter suspension ensures long useful life
        New blowing lance geometry and Vaicon slag stopper improve steel quality

    In October, the first of three LD (BOF) converters supplied by Primetals Technologies commenced operation at the Raahe, Finland works of SSAB Europe Oy. With almost unchanged space requirements, the new converters have a larger reaction volume. The maintenance-free Vaicon Link 2.0, which will be used as the converter suspension, minimizes stress caused by heat-induced deformation and has a longer useful life. A blowing lance tip geometry adjusted to the new converter geometry, bottom stirring and a slag stopper improve the metallurgical properties of the steel produced. A new refractory concept will ensure long converter lining campaign. The converters are scheduled to come on stream in stages until August 2016. SSAB Europe Oy is part of the SSAB group, a leading producer on the global market for Advanced High Strength Steels (AHSS) and Quenched & Tempered Steels (Q&T), strip, plate and tubular products, as well as construction solutions. The group has an annual steel production capacity of 8.8 million metric tons of steel and operates production plants in Sweden, Finland and the USA. The integrated steel mill in Raahe is the largest production facility of its kind in the Nordic countries. With two blast furnaces, three LD converters, secondary metallurgical systems and three continuous casting systems, up to 2.6 million metric tons of steel can be produced and cast here every year. The existing converters in the Raahe factory each have a tapping weight of 125 metric tons. Primetals Technologies is replacing them with three converters featuring a detachable bottom and a bottom stirring system. The converter has an optimized geometry, which enables a larger reaction volume as well as a new concept for the refractory lining which has a longer useful life. The Primetals Technologies scope includes engineering of the converter vessels, trunnion rings and the Vaicon Link 2.0 maintenance-free suspension systems. The converters feature the Vaicon Stopper to minimize slag transfer on tapping. The tip of the blowing lance is adapted to the new converter geometry, which improves the blowing process and therefore the metallurgical properties of the steel produced. Primetals Technologies is also responsible for monitoring the pre-assembly and installation work as well as for commissioning.
  • Aim to raise APL Apollo steel tubes capacity to 2.5 mn tonne by 2020Tubes Ltd, India's leading ERW steel tubes manufacturer, is aiming to raise the production capacity from present 1.05 million tonnes (mt) to 2.5 mt by 2020 and plans to set up manufacturing facilities in Eastern India and Middle East. "The vision of the company is to increase the capacity to 2.5 mt by 2020 and plans are afoot to look at adding new plants in Eastern India and Middle East," said Sanjay Gupta, chairman, APL Apollo. Demand for steel pipes has been rising gradually at the back on increased household income and infrastructure spending. To tap this growing market, APL Apollo is planning to add additional facilities (brownfield expansion) at its existing plants. For this, the company has placed orders for five lines of HSU tube mill, the delivery of which is expected in the next 11-12 months, to augment its current capacity. Further, the company is planning to build a greenfield plant in East, where it does not have manufacturing facility at present. APL Apollo is currently servicing Eastern India through its Sikandarabad plant. While a reasonable demands exists for the ERW pipes in this region, freight costs from Northern India imply low margins for the products. With the facility in Eastern region, APL Apollo expects to shore up the margins which will benefit the company in the long run. In addition, APL Apollo, one of the major exporters of steel pipes from India, plans to set up a new plant in Middle East to meet the latent demand in Middle East and Africa (MENA) and European countries for ERW pipes. The ME facility would be the production hub for APL Apollo's export requirements.

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