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RINL commissions 2.5m tpy blast furnace at Visakhapatnam


India’s Rashtriya Ispat Nigam (RINL) has successfully commissioned a 2.5 million tpy blast furnace at its Visakhapatnam Steel Plant in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, the company said.

The blast furnace will take the company’s hot metal capacity to 6.5 million tpy, from 4 million tpy. The blowing-in of the newly built furnace. The first tapping of hot metal from the blast furnace was carried out on Monday 30 May, RINL said.

The new blast furnace, with a volume of 3,800 cubic metres, is among the largest in the country. Along with auxiliary facilities, it was commissioned at a cost of Rs38 billion ($713.6 million).

The total cost of RINL’s brownfield expansion is Rs125 billion.

New casters have already been commissioned while trial runs of the LD Converter [steel melt shop] are currently in progress. It will be commissioned in May.

The commissioning of the remaining facilities will likely be carried out progressively during the current financial year.

The new mills to be commissioned include a 600,000 tpy wire rod mill, which can boost production to 770,000 tpy when required.

Apart from that, RINL’s new special bar mill will have capacity of about 750,000 tpy of plain rounds in straight length and coil forms. The bar sizes will be in the range of 16-40mm.

The mill can be operated at 900,000 tpy capacity after a minor de-bottlenecking as and when the demand for the product increases, the company said. It will roll medium and high carbon steel, case hardening steel, cold heading quality steel, electrode steel, spring steel, bearing steel and free cutting steel.

RINL’s structural mill, when commissioned, will produce about 700,000 tpy of light structurals in straight lengths. It will be able to produce a wide range of products apart from structurals, including plain rounds, rebars, and semis.

The structural mill has been provisioned to ramp up production to 850,000 tpy, and will roll constructional steel conforming to standards of structural products, the company said.

RINL is also modernising and upgrading its two operational blast furnaces, which will increase the hot metal production capacity by 1 million tpy.

The company will further add one converter, one caster and one seamless tube mill in addition to revamping and modernising its existing sinter plant and melt shop to match the hot metal production, which will increase to 7.3 million tpy of liquid steel.

The units are likely to be commissioned progressively by 2014.

RINL has already conceived plans for its second phase of expansion to around 11.5 million tpy of liquid steel, which will involve an outlay of over Rs220 billion.

Dasturco, RINL’s engineering consultant, has prepared a feasibility report which envisages flat products like hot rolled coil and special steels like those of cold rolled grain-oriented and cold rolled non grain-oriented grades to be produced by the company.

RINL’s board is in the process of finalising the second phase of expansion, which, if approved, will mark the company’s entry into the flat products segment. It currently manufactures only long products.

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