The Ukrainian company Nikopol, a subsidiary of Uvis Ltd., has ordered a roller hearth furnace, for the bright annealing of stainless steel tubes, from LOI Thermprocess. Nikopol is the largest manufacturer of stainless steel tubes in Ukraine and is committed to establishing its Nikopol Stainless brand on the world market. To accomplish this, a five-year investment program has been outlined with its first major contract to LOI for a highly advanced heat treatment furnace. The new LOI heat treatment plant is to be designed with an annual capacity of more than 8,000 t. The roller hearth furnace is to be used for the mass production of 100% bright-annealed tubes. The plant is due to be commissioned in mid-2007.

Additionally, Baoshan Iron and Steel, China, is expanding their facility and has contracted LOI to supply line #2 and line #3 for the LOI heavy-plate heat treatment facility, which has been operated successfully since the beginning of 2005. One line will be a roller hearth furnace for normalizing, and the second a roller hearth furnace for tempering. The furnaces will be used to heat treat alloyed carbon steel and high-alloy steel plates. Commissioning of the highly automated system is expected to be at the beginning of 2007.