Mechel launches experimental ferronickel-producing complex

Southern Urals Nickel Plant OAO launched an experimental industrial complex to produce ferronickel.

The complex’s launch is part of the reconstruction of the plant’s smelting facilities, aimed at increasing production efficiency, lowering production costs and dramatically reducing the volume of waste released into the atmosphere. The new technology will also allow the plant to significantly decrease operating costs by excluding several expensive components from the technological cycle.

The 12-MW complex’s annual production capacity is some 4,900 tons of ferronickel, with an average 20 percent nickel content.

The 12-MW smelting complex was based on technical developments employed for the ferroalloy industry and environmental protection. In developing this project, Bateman Engineering B.V. used an integrated approach, which made possible a combination of lower production costs with higher metal extraction levels and improved equipment endurance and reliability.

The experimental industrial complex’s total cost amounted to approximately $41 million dollars.

Once the complex is launched, the plant will use a new technology for producing ferronickel by smelting in electric furnaces, which has no analogies in the world.

“Launching this industrial complex for ferronickel production marks the beginning of the plant’s sweeping modernization. The development strategy implemented by the plant is due to ensure not only the present, but also the future for South Urals Nickel Plant and dramatically improve the facility’s economical and ecological parameters,” Mechel OAO’s chairman of the board of directors, Igor Zyuzin, noted.