EVRAZ started developing a new grinding balls production facility at Nizhniy Tagil Steel Plant. All project engineering activities will be completed by 2016, with commissioning scheduled for Q3 2017. The new plant will enable the company to start production of grinding balls of the fifth hardness grade which are currently not produced domestically.
Grade 5 grinding balls are characterised by the all-through hardening that ensures high hardness throughout the volume of the ball. The new plant will produce 60-120 mm grinding balls with the hardness of 50-63HRC, enhancing the product's durability. Also, the Russian supplier of equipment for the plant already developed a two-stage controlled hardening technology.
EVRAZ is the biggest supplier of steel grinding balls for the Russian and CIS industrial users. In 2014, EVRAZ NTMK and EVRAZ ZSMK produced over 225 thousand tonnes of grinding balls which made up for 60% of the domestic market, while about 15% of the market is taken up by imports. With the launch of the new production facility, EVRAZ will be able to offer a substitute for the more expensive foreign-made analogues.
"The launch of a new grinding balls plant will strengthen EVRAZ's standing in a strategically important market where we expect a serious surge in demand," says Aleksey Ivanov, Vice-President, EVRAZ, Head of the Steel Division. "We will ramp up our production capacities by one third, but even more importantly, will be able to deliver products that are currently unmatched domestically. Thus we will use the import substitution potential in the segment."
According to the forecasts, by 2024, with the commissioning of new ore processing plants, the demand for steel grinding balls will grow significantly, while consumers will be stricter in terms of quality requirements. New technologies and modern ball mills installed at such facilities will require grinding balls of a greater hardness and durability and will stimulate demand. The launch of the new production facility will empower EVRAZ to timely react to the changing needs of its customers.
The annual production capacity of the new plant is planned at 135 thousand tonnes of grinding balls. The total investments will exceed RUB 1 bln.
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