The main countries still casting ingots are Russia and Ukraine. In terms of reducing carbon emissions, this investment should be seen as expensive low hanging fruit, as a continuous caster removes a key stage in the process – rolling ingot into billet, for example.
SBB 4 June 2010 Ukraine’s ArcelorMittal Kryviy Rih has begun construction of a continuous billet caster, which will eventually replace its current ingot casting process, Steel Business Briefing learns from the company. The $100m (€81.9m) caster will produce up to 1.2m t/y of billet when it comes on stream in September 2011.
The supplier, Siemens VAI, which has a strong presence in Ukraine, will play an important part in the construction of the caster; however, 80% of the work will be contracted to local engineering firms, Jean Jouet, ceo of ArcelorMittal Kryviy Rih, is quoted as saying.
“The installation of the caster will turn Kryviy Rih into a technologically advanced plant, which can meet high international standards and customers’ requirements,” says Jouet.
Once the new caster enters service, the mill will benefit from more efficient production processes, including: a 10% energy saving per tonne of steel output; an increased product range due to the higher quality of steel being produced in the ladle furnace; 10% cuts in CO2 emissions per tonne of billet; and a 10% increase in yield.
The continuous caster, which has been awaited at Kryviy Rih plant since the late 1980s, represents a key element of the modernisation programme adopted by ArcelorMittal Kryviy Rih, as well as satisfying one of the company’s key liabilities outlined in the acquisition agreement.