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Metinvest decommissions Open Hearth Furnace at Azovstal

25 May 2011 // Press centre Metinvest Group

Metinvest, a vertically integrated group of metals and mining companies, has implemented its decision to completely decommission the Open Hearth Furnace at Azovstal Iron and Steel Works. This decision has been adopted within the framework of the comprehensive modernization and reconstruction program implemented at the Group’s metallurgical enterprises envisaging reduction of man-made environmental burden and harmful emissions. Aggressive investment policy and full transition to converter steel production methods will allow penetrating new sales markets with improved quality products.

Aggressive investment policy of Metinvest and the continuous improvements program implemented by the enterprise will allow (within less than one month) achieving full transition to converter steel making process shortly. Currently, converter-based rail steel production process mastering has been finalized. Production of rails and large sections made of converter steel will allow penetrating new sales markets with improved quality products.

«We have managed to re-orient the production rather quickly, and complete transition to converter-based production of rail steel. Not only the large-scale investments have played a major role here, but also professionalism of our employees, - said Enver Tskitishvili, the General Director of AZOVSTAL I&SW OJSC – We anticipate full return on our investments and hitting the break-even point of this production site this year already».

Decommissioning of open hearth production process allows gaining large scale environmental effects and reducing environmental burden of the region considerably: At the same time, elimination of open hearth production will not affect production volumes: Azovstal manages to keep the same production volume of quality steel through improved efficiency of converter shop achieved within the frames of the operational improvements program implementation. Product line of the enterprise remains unchanged. All steel grades that used to be produced at the OHF production have been mastered within the converter production process and certified.

Taking into consideration experience and professional skills of the open hearth furnace shop employees, they filled vacant positions at the Basic Oxygen Furnace Shop and other subdivisions of the plant and at Ilyich I&SW.

“Winding up the open hearth production is an important step of Metinvest strategy implementation. The strategy targets at further strengthening of Metinvest positions in the world markets of metal, attaining competitive edge and high quality of products along with achievement of the world steel producers efficiency levels”. – said Aleksander Pogozhev, the Director of Steel and Rolled Products Division of Metinvest

Editorial notice:

PUBLIC JOINT STOCK COMPANY "AZOVSTAL IRON & STEEL WORKS" is a highly technological mill manufacturing a great variety of iron and steel products: slabs, steel bars and sections, rails, rail fasteners, squares, plates, metallurgical slag products. Azovstal's production capacities allow manufacture of over 5,5 million tons of iron, over 6,4 million tons of steel, over 4,4 million tons of rolled products.  Design capacity for manufacture of rail fasteners is 285 thousand tons per year, milling balls – 170 thousand tons per year.

Metinvest is an international vertically integrated mining and steel group of companies, operating assets in each link of the production chain from iron ore and coal mining and coke production, through to semi-finished and finished steel production, pipe rolling and coil production and production of other value-added products. The Group comprises mining and steel production facilities located in Ukraine, Europe and the USA and has a sales network covering all key global markets. The major shareholders of Metinvest are SCM Group (75% ownership) and Smart-Holding (25% ownership) partnering in Company’s management.

METINVEST HOLDING, LLC – is the managing company of Metinvest Group.