SMS Siemag received an order from Brazil’s CBMM (Companhia Brasileira de Metalurgia e Mineracao) for the supply of a submerged-arc furnace (SAF). The scope of supply of SMS Siemag includes the engineering and the supply of the furnace, a 15-MVA transformer, a gas cleaning system, a water-quench facility and a system for the compensation of the reactive power. The new SAF will produce refined niobium concentrate for further processing into ferroniobium (FeNb) and niobium oxides. Commissioning is scheduled for late 2016 to early 2017.

 Niobium is mainly used as micro-alloying element in steel and causes simultaneous increase in strength and toughness. Important segments using micro-alloyed steel are the automotive industry, pipelines for gas and oil transportation and structural applications. CBMM, one of the world’s leading producers of ferroniobium, aims to increase the production capacity at its facility in Araxá with this furnace.