ArcelorMittal Poland expands the product portfolio of its Krakow Unit with innovative products
In mid-2018 the next stage of projects implementation at the Krakow Unit of ArcelorMittal Poland will commence. A new line for organic coating (i.e. coating steel sheets with paint) will be installed at the new hot dip galvanizing plant. At the steel shop a new pilot R&D project - for production of new generation electrical steel grades will be continued. Those projects are aimed at helping the steel industry in Poland to keep following the demands of its customers. Their value amounts to a few hundred million PLN.
The first works on the construction of the organic coating line will start in June. So-called “combi” line will be a modern installation, which, apart from the galvanized steel sheets produced already, used i.a. in window profiles or construction elements, will allow for production of coated sheets. So far the only producer of this product range was ArcelorMittal Poland’s Unit in Swietochlowice.
Responding to market needs
- We are planning to produce the first coil of coated sheet as early as the first quarter of 2019. This type of sheet is used for production of i.a. roofing and cladding. We are observing the demand for roof tiles not only on the local markets, but also on markets of the neighbouring countries – explains Geert Verbeeck, CEO and deputy chairman of the board at ArcelorMittal Poland.
The modern organic coating line after commissioning will be able to produce 220,000 tonnes of coated steel per year (44 mln square meters). This is enough to produce roofing for 220,000 of average size houses.
New generation steel grades – R&D project
Employees of the Krakow Unit of ArcelorMittal Poland and the Institute of Ferrous Metallurgy in Gliwice are working on an R&D project aimed at production of a new steel grade. ArcelorMittal Poland have signed an agreement with NCBiR under the Smart Growth Operational Program for co-funding of a research and development project (‘R&D’) entitled: “Innovative high-silicone steel grade with adjusted small content of impurities and non-metallic inclusions and with controlled morphology and proper amount of AlN inhibitor, intended to be used for high quality transformer sheets.”
Under the above mentioned project a new generation transformer steel grade will be developed, which has not been produced in Poland so far. The project will enable melting and secondary vacuum metallurgy of silicon steel. The new generation electrical steel will be degassed in vacuum tanks and thanks to the parameters achieved via this route it will be used for production of high quality transformer sheets after the pilot R&D project is successful. Its application will allow for more efficient operation and lower noise emission of transformers.
– We are investing in innovative and high value products not only to expand our product portfolio but primarily due to the fact that they offer us a better chance of surviving on the global steel market – explains Sanjay Samaddar, chairman of the board of directors of ArcelorMittal Poland. – We are truly worried about the NAP4 of the EU ETS. We will have to purchase carbon credits, whose price post 2020 may reach 30 euros per tonne and our competitors from outside the EU will be free of those expenses. It constitutes a real threat for the competition of the steelmaking in Europe. This is why we are trying to maintain this competitiveness with strategic projects such as those planned at our Unit in Krakow – he adds.
The construction of the organic coating line and the installation for vacuum tank degassing make up for the next stage of projects implemented at ArcelorMittal Poland’s Unit in Krakow. The first stage (2007-2014), worth over PLN 2.5 bn covered the construction of the hot rolling mill, modernization of the cold rolling mill and coke plant as well as change in the manner of transporting hot metal (torpedo ladles were put in use, which resulted in reduction of greenhouse gas emissions). The second stage started in 2015 and consumed over PLN 500 m. Within this package ArcelorMittal Poland carried out a general overhaul of the only blast furnace operating at the unit and the basic oxygen furnace. The company also increased the capacity in hot rolling by ca. 0.9 m tonnes and constructed a new hot dip galvanizing line with a capacity of 0.4 m tonnes per year.