At Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works (MMK), the reconstruction of the blast furnace No. 2 is entering its final phase. The updated unit is due to be commissioned in July.
MMK started reconstruction of the blast furnace No. 2 in February 2020, in line with its major repairs programme. As a result of the renovation, the productivity of blast furnace No.2 will be increased. In addition, it is expected to specifically reduce consumption of coke, which should result in a significant economic effect. Dust emissions will be reduced due to new aspiration systems. The total investment in the modernisation of the furnace will amount to more than RUB 5 bln.
During the scheduled renovation, all elements of the old furnace are due to be dismantled and completely replaced and the cooling system modernised. The cooling of the blast furnace will be transferred from tile vertical cast-iron refrigerators to copper horizontal box coolers in the thrust washers and tuyere zones. This design feature in the cooling of the blast furnace has already been used at MMK during the reconstruction of blast furnace No.1 in 2018. The equipment for the cooling system of blast furnace No. 2 is supplied by the Luxembourg company Paul Wurth. Following its reconstruction, the new furnace will have non-lintel design.
An important element of the reconstruction of MMK's blast furnace No.2 is the reconstruction of the casting beds with a system of closed gutters and the aspiration of the casting beds and charge feed. The main technological equipment required for the production of pig iron and slag will be replaced by modern hydraulic equipment manufactured by Dneprohydromach (machines for opening and closing the flaps and manipulator). Similar equipment has already been installed on four MMK blast furnaces. Changes will affect the main transportation flumes, which will be equipped with convective cooling and will increase in size, facilitating the separation of pig iron from slag. In addition, the flumes will also be equipped with an aspiration system air-duct. As a result of this aspiration installation which has a suction capacity of 850,000 cubic meters per hour, the emission of pollutants into the atmosphere will be significantly reduced, improving working conditions for MMKĺs employees.
Prokatmontazh has acted as the general contractor. Currently, the lining of the furnace has been completed and the installation of copper box coolers produced by Paul Wurth has begun. A new water treatment system for the cooling system has been built. Currently, the Western casting beds are about 90% complete, construction and installation works have been completed and equipment is being installed. Construction works are underway at the Eastern casting beds. As part of the work on the engine room, a new skip winch produced by Paul Wurth is being installed. The installation of the aspiration system at the casting beds is currently approximately 75% complete. The air ducts remain to be mounted and the power supply set up. The charge transfer aspiration system is approximately 95% complete, the pipeline wiring to the dusting points has been installed and electrical work is underway to connect the air intake control valves. Commissioning works are underway on air heaters for preheating.
MMK's blast furnace No. 2 was commissioned in June 1932. Since then, the blast furnace has been repeatedly updated - most recently in 2000, when it was rebuilt almost from scratch. The capacity of the current blast furnace is 1,380 cubic meters and the capacity is about 3800 tonnes of pig iron per day. In 2010, a bell-less top charging mechanism provided by Paul Wurth was installed on blast furnace No. 2.