June 22, 2009 – Evraz Group (LSE: EVR) ("Evraz") announced today that it restarted Blast Furnace No. 3 at its Zapsib plant (Novokuznetsk, Russia) with a total capacity of 2.16 million tonnes of pig iron per annum. Following the restart, the Russian steelmaking division of Evraz will be running at its full capacity. As a result, Evraz will be able to further increase exports of semi-finished products (slabs and billets) to meet the demand in the Asian markets.
The 3,000 m3 furnace was idled on October 29, 2008 to match production with actual market demand. Since then the furnace, as well as adjacent production units, underwent an overhaul. Following the restart of BF No. 3, total Zapsib capacity will reach 6.5 million tonnes of pig iron per annum, while the overall annual steelmaking capacity of Evraz’s Russian operations will reach 13.5 million tonnes of crude steel, which is approximately 2 million tonnes less than last year’s capacity due to production optimisation.