NLMK Group signed an agreement for the purchase of the core process equipment for the construction of a new walking-beam reheating furnace that will streamline the slab heating process at NLMK Pennsylvania in Farrell, Pa. The new furnace will replace three outdated pusher-type furnaces currently operational at the facility. According to NLMK, it will improve the quality of hot-rolled steel by eliminating slab surface defects, which are characteristic of pusher-type furnaces. The reheating furnace, which will have a capacity of approximately 1.7 million metric tons per year, will preheat steel slabs prior to further rolling at the hot strip mill.

The project will significantly increase the quality of finished steel products, reduce energy consumption and minimize environmental impact. Construction and installation are scheduled for the third quarter of 2017, and the furnace is expected to be operational in 2018. The project, which is estimated to cost $80 million, also includes the construction of a warehouse for slabs supplied by Novolipetsk.

NLMK Pennsylvania is the biggest plant in the NLMK USA division. The plant produces carbon and alloyed steel, including hot-rolled and cold-rolled steel.  NLMK Pennsylvania steel is used in machine building, railway equipment and pipe manufacturing and for the mining, energy and space industries.