Steelmaker Voestalpine implements first of new process control systems from Primetals

Austrian steelmaker Voestalpine has implemented the first phase of a modernization project covering control systems for its three converter lines and for the higher-level converter area from UK-based engineering and plant manufacturing company Primetals Technologies.

Voestalpine said Aug. 3 Primetals is currently modernizing the entire process control system at its LD3 steel plant in Linz, Austria, with the first modernization phase completed in June.

Platts assessed hot-rolled coil in Northwest Europe unchanged day on day at Eur850/mt ($867/mt) ex-works Ruhr on Aug. 2, while in the Southern market, HRC was also unchanged at Eur780/mt EXW Italy, according to data from S&P Global Commodity Insights.

Voestalpine said updating the entire process control system will lead to improvements in both investment security for the steelworks and process automation availability. The project is expected to be complete in 16 phases and would run until the end of the year.

Systems upgrades for secondary metallurgy, slab treatment and dedusting units will follow in coming phases, it said.

Voestalpine said its process control system is one of the largest PCS 7 installations worldwide. While updating the entire control system, Primetals will take over the existing libraries, the company said, adding that this will save time spent on extensive testing of important functions in all units and would avoid long plant downtimes.

In July, Primetals started up a new basic oxygen steelmaking, or Linz-Donawitz, converter at steelmaker ArcelorMittal’s plant in Gent, Belgium. At a heat size of 330 mt, the Gent plant’s LD converter is one of the largest globally, with average LD converter heat sizes at 180 mt.

Turkey-based Tosyali Holding in May ordered a new slab caster for its Tosyali Algeria mill in Bethioua, 40 km east of Oran, Algeria, from Primetals Technologies, while in March, ArcelorMittal ordered two new LD converters from Primetals for a flat products mill in Dunkirk, France.

— Filip Warwick