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Company News, 2006-04-24, 01:31 PM

ThyssenKrupp Steel modernizes hot metal base in Duisburg - twin blast furnaces for Duisburg-Hamborn

ThyssenKrupp Steel AG is currently modernizing its hot metal base in Duisburg-Hamborn. The centerpiece of this project is the construction of a new blast furnace on the site where some 18 months earlier the remains of the blast furnace 8 closed down in 1991 were demolished. In addition, the nearby blast furnace 9 - built in 1987 - is to be relined, i.e. gradually upgraded to the state of the art. Finally, blast furnace 4 - built in 1963 and also located at the Duisburg-Hamborn site - will be shut down and kept only as a back-up unit.

The blast furnace concept is to be implemented by 2008 at a total cost of 340 million euros. It will not only stabilize the hot metal base in Duisburg for the production and processing of steel at the company's German plants, it will also improve productivity and optimize logistics.

Site preparation well underway

In summer last year, the Düsseldorf district authority granted approval for the construction of a new blast furnace 8 - a project which will alone cost around 200 million euros. Since then, work has been underway on clearing and preparing the site, which is located amid the existing infrastructure on the ThyssenKrupp Steel plant premises: the remnants and ancillary buildings of the old blast furnace 8 are being removed, with the construction materials being recycled for subsequent backfilling on the site and the scrap from the old furnace already fed to the converter.

In addition, media supply to the entire site is currently being restructured: a complex system of pipelines, each carrying separate media such as blast furnace and coke oven gas, steam, cooling and drinking water as well as compressed and heating air, has to be laid and enclosed. Only when it is completed can the old pipelines, some of which supply the entire iron and steelmaking plant, be gradually taken out of service.

Also currently under construction is a new, roughly 200 meter long stockhouse which will serve both the new blast furnace 8 and its twin, the existing blast furnace 9. Completion is expected in late summer 2007.

5,000 tons of steel-reinforced concrete for the foundations

When the site has been cleared, from May 2006 work will start on casting the foundations for the giant blast furnace using around 5,000 metric tons of steel-reinforced concrete. Once the foundations are in place, construction of the blast furnace can begin - this work is scheduled to commence in September. The orders for the core units, i.e. supply, installation and start-up of the blast furnace, casthouse, inclined elevator and cooling system, were placed with Luxembourg-based company Paul Wurth at the end of February. Some of the units will be prefabricated before transportation and only assembled on site, others will actually be constructed there, depending on the size of the individual parts: if they are too big, they will be difficult to transport across the plant premises.

Two major equipment groups: core units and ancillary systems

ThyssenKrupp Steel is putting other items of blast furnace equipment out to separate tender, including the top gas scrubbers and the new, state-of-the-art central control station for blast furnaces 8 and 9.

800 construction workers on site at peak times

When construction work enters the critical phase in around a year, the project managers of the 20-strong blast furnace core team expect there to be around 800 construction workers on the one-hectare site. Some 10,000 metric tons of steel will be used in total. Start-up of the new blast furnace is planned for December 2007 at the earliest, with ramp-up to full capacity planned for the first quarter of 2008.

High-tech pollution control equipment

The new complex will feature highly advanced pollution control equipment which will reduce noise levels in the surrounding neighborhood to a minimum and further reduce dust and fine dust emissions. The equipment is so effective that some emissions will be well below the statutory limits. Both blast furnace 8 and blast furnace 9 will be equipped with new dedusting systems for the hopper car discharging stations at a cost of over 20 million euros. In addition, the cooling system for blast furnace 8 will be fitted with a low-noise, slow-rotating ventilator. The cooling tower for slag granulation on blast furnace 9 will also be moved further to the center of the plant site, virtually eliminating the possibility of noise pollution for local residents.

As a further contribution to sustainable development, the equipment will be given an attractive color scheme using a concept developed by color designer Friedrich Ernst von Garnier which will set it apart from the older plant units.

This press release is also available on the internet at: www.thyssenkrupp-steel.de.

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