NLMK has successfully passed an audit conducted by Det Norske Veritas (DNV), a Norwegian certification agency, to become a potential supplier of slabs for large-diameter pipe manufacturing for the Nord Stream Extension Project (NEXT).
DNV audited NLMK’s production processes for heavy slabs 355 mm thick and 2,150 mm wide: scrap preparation – steelmaking, secondary metallurgy, and casting – and steel slab surface and macrostructure quality control. The auditors verified the Company’s process documentation for compliance with international standards, and audited the training and education programmes for staff in BOF Shop #2. The audit confirmed that the process equipment and production discipline in BOF Shop #2 are of a high standard, and that the slabs produced are of a high quality. The final approval for NLMK slabs to be used in the NEXT project is currently being prepared.
Most of the audited steelmaking facilities at the Lipetsk site were built or revamped between 2008–2011, as part of Stage II of NLMK’s Technical Upgrade Programme. The construction of new steelmaking facilities and the development of secondary metallurgy and the capability to manufacture steel slabs with qualities which are unique in Russia have enabled the Company to enter new sales markets.
Slabs for the Nord Stream Extension Project will be produced at BOF Shop #2. BOF Shop #2 is equipped with 3 BOFs (BOF #1 with 330 t nominal capacity was built in 2011), two ladle furnaces (commissioned in 2011), five ladle metallurgy units, one RH degasser (commissioned in 2011), and five continuous casting machines, three of which were completely refurbished in 2009–2011.
Nord Stream Extension Project (NEXT) is not the first project in which NLMK participates as a supplier of slabs for large-diameter pipes. In 2012, NLMK signed a long-term contract with the United Metallurgical Company (ÎÌK) for the supply of concast slabs. These slabs will be rolled into plates at the MKS-5000 rolling mill at Vyksa Steel Works (part of OMK) and used in the production of large-diameter pipes, including those ordered by Gazprom for the Unified Gas Supply System expansion as part of the Bovanenkovo-Ukhta, Ukhta-Torzhok, and South Stream projects.
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