Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works (MMK) has completed the technical re-equipment of its blast furnace No. 2. The Company plans to put the upgraded unit into operation in August.
MMK launched the large-scale modernisation of the second blast furnace in February 2020. The general contractor for the technical re-equipment was JSC Prokatmontazh. Total investments into the reconstruction of the furnace amounted to more than RUB 5 billion.
According to Viktor Rashnikov, Chairman of the Board of Directors of MMK, the modernisation project has increased the unit's productivity by more than 30% and will also provide a significant economic and environmental impact.
"We are consistently modernising our domain production. Since 2013, MMK has carried out major repairs with the reconstruction of foundry yards at blast furnaces no.6, 9, 10 and 1. And now we are completing the modernisation of the second blast furnace, which will not only increase the productivity of the furnace and provide a significant economic effect, but will also reduce dust emissions into the atmosphere, thereby improving the working conditions of our metallurgists. A breakthrough for our blast furnace production will be the construction of the new blast furnace complex No. 11, which we plan to complete in 2024. This will become the most modern furnace with a capacity of 3.7 million tonnes of pig iron per year. It will be built in accordance with the best available technologies. Its launch will allow us to put three existing blast furnaces out of operation and reduce atmospheric emissions by 6.6 thousand tonnes. The air above Magnitogorsk will become cleaner, and we will be able to achieve our strategic goal ľ to bring its Comprehensive Air Quality Index to the indicators corresponding to that of a 'Clean City,'" Mr Rashnikov said.
During the reconstruction of blast furnace No. 2, MMK dismantled and replaced the metal components of the existing furnace and upgraded its cooling system. This transferred the cooling system from one based on vertical plate crude iron refrigerators to one using modern, horizontal copper refrigerators in the bosh, the tuyere region, and the belly of the lower part of the furnace shaft. The design of the cooling system and the supply of equipment was carried out by the company Paul Wurth (Luxembourg). The implementation of a new reliable cooling system and the lining of the tuyere belt, bosh and furnace waist at blast furnace No. 2 will allow the Company to avoid the need to carry out major repairs of the 2nd category (60 days) in favour of less lengthy repairs.
An important part of the reconstruction of MMK's blast furnace No.2 was the reconstruction of the foundry yards using a system of closed gutters, and the aspiration of the foundry yards and charge feed. The equipment of the foundry yard for the production of cast iron and slag was replaced with modern hydraulic mining machines produced by the company Dneprogidromash. Previously, similar equipment was installed at four MMK blast furnaces. The main chutes are now convective-cooled and enlarged to improve the separation of cast iron and slag. The lining of connective chutes will be made from refractory concrete. The chutes are equipped with shelters with an aspiration device manufactured by Dneprogidromash, with a capacity of 850 thousand cubic metres per hour. The newly built aspiration system will reduce dust emissions by 250 tonnes/year and improve the condition of the Company's workplaces.
By maintaining the integrity of the cooling system, the implementation of the above measures throughout the furnaceĺs exploitation period reduces the risk of productivity declines due to unplanned shutdowns.
Changing the design of the bosh will allow work on the blast furnace to be carried out with an increased proportion of pellets, while productivity will increase to 3,900 tonnes/day (compared to 2,477 tonnes/day in 2019). The consumption of natural gas will amount to 132 m3/t of pig iron, while per-unit total coke consumption will amount to 421 kg/t of pig iron (versus 435.4 kg/t in 2019).
The use of modern supermicroporous refractories from the company SGL in the lining of the furnace and bream will allow the furnace to work for 15 years until the next major repair of the 1st category.
Blast furnace No. 2 was commissioned at MMK in June 1932, a few months after the commissioning of blast furnace No. 1. It was named "Komsomolka" in commemoration of the feat of labour carried out by hundreds of Komsomol members who worked on the construction of Magnitogorsk. Back in March 1931, the Bureau of the Magnitogorsk Komsomol District Committee asked the Magnitogorsk management to entrust the construction of a second blast furnace to the district Komsomol organisation. Hundreds of enthusiastic young people responded to the call of the Central Committee of the Komsomol and arrived in Magnitogorsk to take part in the construction of the Komsomol-youth blast furnace. Here, one of the first all-Union shock Komsomol construction sites in our country was born. Since then, the blast furnace has been repeatedly reconstructed, with the last project taking place in 2000, when it was almost entirely rebuilt. In 2010, blast furnace No. 2 was equipped with a cone-free loading device manufactured by Paul Wurth.
MMK Group Press Office