The investments, two focused on further improvements in the company’s environmental performance and a third project designed to modernize the production of one of the steel plant’s key products, bring total investments in ArcelorMittal Zenica to more than €160m, including €50m targeted specifically for environmental improvements.
Prior to ArcelorMittal’s arrival in Zenica in 2004, the steel plant had been largely out of operation since 1992, with little or no investment made at the factory for several decades.
ArcelorMittal Zenica is the first steel plant in the world to have industrial-scale hybrid filtration technology installed in its sinter plant. A total of €3m has been invested in the new technology, which has cut dust emissions significantly, to well below the EU limit of 20 mg/Nm3. The company plans to install a second filter, so that both sinter plant stacks’ dust emissions are filtered.
The filter technology is the culmination of a major collaboration between Danish global engineering company FLSmidth and ArcelorMIttal’s R&D team, with a team of seven researchers and six technicians working on the design and testing stages of the project. It is to the credit of the teams involved that the project went from concept to industrialisation within two years.
ArcelorMittal signed a collaboration agreement with FLSmidth to build a pilot plant for the filter in Gijón, Spain, as well as to work together on adapting the technology – which was originally developed for cement plants – to work in sinter plants, which convert iron ore into sinter feed which is then used in the blast furnace.
In addition, ArcelorMittal is installing the technology in its operations in Dąbrowa Górnicza, Poland, while a third installation in Gent, Belgium, is also in progress.
Speaking about the filter innovation, Pinakin Chaubal, head of process R&D at ArcelorMittal, said:
“I’m extremely proud of the team involved in this project, which sets a new global standard for sinter plant emissions. The installation of the hybrid filter in ArcelorMittal Zenica is an important milestone in the project which has involved our R&D team, ArcelorMittal technical specialists, and ArcelorMittal sites in Bosnia & Herzegovina and Spain. I would also like to thank FLSmidth for their highly professional collaboration on this innovative development.”
New technology has also been introduced to achieve major reductions in smoke and gas emissions from ArcelorMittal Zenica’s coke battery. The smokeless charging car, a €4.2m investment, cuts charging times, delivering an almost smoke-free charging process and prevents CO2 emissions being released into the atmosphere. The technology was provided by the UK engineering firm John M. Henderson Machines.
A team of JMH Machines engineers supervised the testing of the mechanical, electrical, hydraulic and pneumatic systems on the ground level, before the 126-tonne car was lifted in one piece into position on the coke oven battery.
New product range
An investment of €5.2m has also been made, to make ArcelorMittal Zenica the first plant in ArcelorMittal Europe to produce rebar in coil.
This is one of ArcelorMittal Zenica’s most important products, which offers customers efficiencies in terms of cutting down on wastage and storage space, and annual production capacity will be raised from 300,000 to 320,000 tonnes, while introducing improvements in the product quality and range, ease of storage and delivery. Italy’s SMS Meer provided and installed the equipment for this production improvement.
“This will improve ArcelorMittal’s competitive edge in an important market sector,” said ArcelorMittal Zenica CEO Mr Biju Nair.
Speaking at the ceremony in Zenica, Mr Nair continued:
“The three important new investment programmes that we are announcing today represent another practical demonstration of our strong commitment to building a long term, sustainable future for steelmaking in this historic industrial city.