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Firsthand information

Magazine Metal Supply and Sales , no.11 November, 2013

Kalugin JSC was established in the year of 2000. The company became internationally known due to introduction at the biggest iron and steel works of top combustion (shaftless) hot stoves designed by Iakov Kalugin, Doctor of Engineering Sciences and the company founder.  All the projects for construction of Kalugin Shaftless Stoves (KSS) are developed according to the Customers’ requirements; they undergo a strict scientific and technical examination by experts. At present, due to application of this innovative technology they produce 30% of pig iron in Russia and 10% of pig iron in the world. Ms. Marina Kalugina, Chief Executive Officer, told about results of work and plans for the company’s development.

Ms. Kalugina, what projects were implemented by the company in 2013? In which directions have you been able to achieve the best results?

This year was quite effective for the company’s activities. In March 2013 our engineers completed trial tests of the Kalugin Shaftless Stove System at 450 m3 Smelting Furnace No.2 of Mizushima Ferroalloy (Japan). After completion of technical works and discussions Japanese experts confirmed that the specified performance parameters of the KSS system had been achieved and the stove system corresponded to all technical specifications as per actual operation of the smelting furnace. This is the third project successfully implemented by the company at iron and steel works in Japan. In China a Kalugin Shaftless Stove System was commissioned in March at 4747 m3 Blast Furnace No.3 of Anyang Iron & Steel. It consists of four big KSS and two small KSS (or Combustion Air Preheaters, CAP). Then, over a period of half a year the system was operated to achieve the design parameters – at present the design parameters have been achieved and the system is operated at the temperature of 1280°C with the possibility to increase the hot blast temperature up to 1300°C. Moreover, in August 2013 construction of the system consisting of four KSS and two CAPs was completed at 4350 m3 Blast Furnace of Tayun Iron & Steel, the system being dried and heated at present. Construction of two KSS systems at two 4150 m3 Blast Furnaces of Baotou Iron and Steel is close to completion. At one blast furnace we have completed construction and started drying the KSS system, at the other furnace construction works are close to completion. We are holding pre-contract discussions for a new KSS system for two 5050 m3 Blast Furnaces of Baotou Iron and Steel.    

As you have said, all the projects for your hot stoves are developed in accordance with the customers’ requirements. What is done in the company to improve the KSS technology?

Yes, that’s right. Let me give a few examples. Kalugin’s engineers together with our Chinese partners are developing a manufacturing process technology for refractory bricks of new type which will be used at the operating hot blast temperature of 1350-1400°C. The technology will be patented in China and we will have rights to apply it in all our projects.

When will the new refractory go into production?   

Research is planned to be completed at the beginning of the next year. In 2014 we suggest using the new refractory for both construction of new KSS systems and reconstruction of the existing ones.

To what extent will the refractory bricks of new type be in demand in the world market? Can they be used for construction of hot stoves by other manufactures?

Earlier there was no need in these special refractory bricks. However, with the increase in the hot blast temperature when replacing the existing hot stoves with Kalugin stoves, it is also required to modernize the hot blast pipeline. Therefore, the new refractory bricks will be used not only in KSS but also in the hot blast main of the new system as well as for reconstruction of the existing main.  It is important to note that so far none of the producers could construct a stove system able to operate at the hot blast temperature over 1350°C. However, our KSS systems can provide this stable temperature in the blast furnace and, therefore, we are working at refractory bricks for the hot blast main and valves which can be used for a long time at this temperature. The achievement of this high temperature is a record in the market of hot stoves for blast furnaces.

Can this refractory be used in the Russian market? Will you make an independent evaluation of the new refractory in Russia?

Yes, we are planning this. In Ekaterinburg there is an analogous laboratory which will also carry out all necessary research works and then we will receive the Russian certificate. Thus, we will have two certificates for the new refractory: Chinese and Russian. Moreover, Kalugin’s engineers have achieved significant results in reduction of CO and NOx in waste gases. Our emissions of CO usually amount to 0-50 ppm, which is less than both Russian and European standards; NOx emissions are up to 50-60 ppm. By the way, this value is over the limits established for Japanese companies such as JFE Steel. Therefore, it was necessary to balance these two values so that they were within the limits established by the Customer. For this purpose we have taken necessary measures to reduce NOx emissions in waste gases. Some modifications were introduced in the stove design.  

Can these improvements reducing emissions in waste gases be used at all working hot stoves?

CO and NOx emissions in waste gases of all our stoves are less than both Russian and Europeans standards. Therefore, there is no necessity to introduce these modifications at already existing KSS. We will apply them in those projects where the Customer indicates some special requirements for NOx emissions as it was in Japan and in new projects. Thus, continuous work upon the design improvement allowed our company to create KSS having absolutely unique technical and environmental parameters and leaving behind all the best foreign designs.

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