New tinplate producer Miorsk Metal Processing Plant (MMPZ) in the north of Belarus has produced the first coil on its recently commissioned reversing cold rolling mill, according to information from the mill and its major equipment supplier, SMS of Germany.
Besides the reversing cold rolling mill, SMS supplied an electrolytic cleaning section, a batch annealing furnace, a two-stand combined reduction/skin pass mill, an electrolytic tinning line and a coil and one sheet packaging line.
This new integrated and expandable production complex comprised of the strip rolling and processing lines is designed to manufacture tinplate in grades T1, T2, T3, DR7 and DR8 as well as thin cold-rolled sheet commercial and drawing quality grades.
Now that the first coil has been rolled on the reversing cold rolling mill, the other facilities of the plant will be put into operation step by step.
Once ramped up to its first stage capacity of 150,000 mt/year of 0.1-0.5 mm thick tinplate, the complex will make Belarus fully self-sufficient in the product.
With this output, MMPZ will meet the needs of the domestic packaging industry as well as demand for cold rolled thin sheet.
The majority of the plant’s output could be intended for export, including to Russia and other CIS countries, as well as to the EU.
Belarus consumes roughly 30,000 mt/year of tinplate with the entire tonnage being imported. It used to be mostly supplied by Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works in Russia and ArcelorMittal Temirtau in Kazakhstan, the only CIS tinplate makers. But as a few end-users in Belarus upgraded their production equipment, the geography of imports has changed in favor of the EU.
— Ekaterina Bouckley