Primetals awarded by South Korean Steel Producer for recovery from fire incident

by David Fleschen

In May 2022, a fire struck the drive room at SeAH Besteel’s large bar mill in Gunsan, South Korea. The entire drive system was damaged, and an urgent recovery of the complete system was needed for the plant to resume operation. SeAH Besteel contacted Primetals Technologies and asked for the support required to startup the mill within 44 days.

The project posed significant challenges in terms of supply chain-related issues prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic in combination with the extremely tight deadline – similar projects usually take about one year tom complete. However, thanks to a steady flow of communication and by leveraging its global organization, Primetals Technologies was able to meet the deadline and started up the plant within the given time frame. For this extraordinary effort, Primetals Technologies was recently honoured with an appreciation award by SeAH Besteel, highlighting the close partnership between the two companies.

“We are very proud to receive this appreciation from SeAH Besteel,” said Hans-Jürgen Zeiher, Head of Electrics and Automation at Primetals Technologies. “It is proof that we as an organization always strive to support our customers in the best possible way, even in extreme situations like the sudden fire accident at SeAH Besteel’s large bar mill. By leveraging our global organization, we managed to meet the extremely tight schedule while keeping on-site safety the number one priority.”

The fire started when a spark caused by the production ignited leaking fluid from the lubrication system at the large bar mill. It spread to cable trays and eventually reached the electrics and automation room. Almost all equipment in that room was severely damaged as a result of the fire.

Primetals Technologies was tasked with the recovery project and started discussions with hardware suppliers right away. Close communication and collaboration on a global level within the organization were the key success factors to meeting the deadline. Due to relentless efforts, the Primetals Technologies project team managed to find suppliers that could deliver the hardware on time.

Primetals Technologies carried out engineering, procurement, and manufacturing of select special parts simultaneously. Moreover, on-site activities like installation, implementation, and fine-tuning of the system were also executed in parallel.

The intense recovery project was completed on schedule as SeAH Basteel and Primetals Technologies restarted the plant on June 4, 2022. The scope of supply included the full electrics and automation system for the large bar mill as well as engineering and implementation.

Founded in 1955, SeAH Besteel is the leading manufacturer of special steel grades in South Korea. The steel producer is supplying the automotive, industrial, and energy industries. In total, the company produces about two million tons of steel annually.

Source and Photo: Primetals

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