Chugai Ro Co. of Osaka, Japan, received an order from Shanghai Baosteel Group Corp. for what will be the largest annealing furnace in China for steel plate, capable of processing 57,600 tons a year. The order, worth an estimated $18-27 million, is for an annealing furnace that introduces hydrogen to prevent scale formation throughout the annealing process. Chugai Ro will make the components and ship them to China for local assembly. The furnace is scheduled to become operational in the autumn of 2009.

Chugai Ro aims to win orders for 10 more annealing furnaces by 2012. Baosteel will install the annealing furnace as part of a larger project to increase the scale of its steelworks for titanium alloys and other specialty steels.