New LD converter (BOF) boosts productivity for ArcelorMittal Zenica
by David Fleschen
In Autumn 2022, Bosnian steel producer ArcelorMittal Zenica started up a new 125-ton LD converter (BOF), supplied by Primetals Technologies, at its plant in Zenica, Bosnia Herzegovina.
As part of the project, engineers at Primetals Technologies have optimized the vessel shape, resulting in an increase in converter reaction volume by almost 30 percent. The new technology has also reduced the tap-to-tap time, which has led to a higher capacity for the production line. At the same time, ArcelorMittal Zenica is now able to produce a wider array of steel grades.
“This is a very successful project – everything went smoothly and within the expected timeframe. Thanks to the new solution, the converter reaction volume has increased, and this vessel has shorter tap-to-tap times. These are strong benefits for us,” says Adnan Topalovic, head of the CAPEX and projects department at ArcelorMittal Zenica.
“The best ratings”
A converter vessel, a trunnion ring, and Vaicon Link 2.0, the maintenance-free suspension system, were the key equipment included in Primetals Technologies’ scope of supply. Primetals Technologies was responsible for engineering, project management, and quality assurance, and provided advisory services for construction work and implementation together with its consortium partner.
The suspension system was one of the main reasons why ArcelorMittal Zenica chose Primetals Technologies as its supplier: “We had lots of issues with the suspension system on the former converter. We investigated the best possible option and had the choice between a common lamella type and Primetals Technologies’ suspension system. Feedback from other steel producers told us that Vaicon Link 2.0 is the one with the best ratings,” says Adnan Topalovic.
The new converter technology implemented at ArcelorMittal’s plant in Zenica has resulted in further benefits for the steel producer. Slopping, i.e. slag flowing over the converter, was a common issue with the old equipment. Thanks to the optimized shape of the new vessel, this problem no longer exists. Therefore, a higher percentage of the yield is generated, which also contributes to greater productivity.
The project had a tight schedule and was heavily impacted by Covid-19 restrictions. Nevertheless, all the milestones were achieved on time. The teams from ArcelorMittal Zenica and Primetals Technologies partnered up for weekly follow-up meetings, and the communication was characterized by fast response times. In this way, potential issues were quickly resolved.
Source and Photo: Primetals