The German steel producer BGH Edelstahlwerke has granted Primetals Technologies final acceptance certification for a new argon oxygen decarburization (AOD) converter, thereby expanding the company’s electric steel mill in Freital, Saxony. The new converter supplements and reduces the workload of the existing vacuum oxygen decarburization (VOD) plant.
With low capital investment costs, production can be made more flexible and the specific consumption of raw materials, refractory materials, electrical energy and operating materials can be reduced. At the same time, productivity is increased due to shorter treatment times and the quality of the end products is further improved. The planned capacity of the extended steel mill corresponds to an output of about 120,000 metric tons of stainless and special steel per year. Primetals Technologies received the order at the beginning of 2019.
For this project, Primetals Technologies supplied the 50-ton AOD converter, the alloy and aggregate system, the doghouse and primary gas cooling system, auxiliary and ancillary equipment, as well as the electrical and automation systems. The scope of work also included the complete engineering, supervision services for erection and commissioning, and on-site customer training. The installation of the AOD converter in an existing plant required a specially customized solution due to the restricted height of the building. The conversion was carried out during ongoing operation without any significant restriction of current production, enabling it to be implemented within a short time frame.
BGH Edelstahlwerke GmbH is a medium-sized, owner-operated group of companies. The holding includes several independent production locations across Germany and Poland. BGH Edelstahl Freital GmbH is today the largest facility within the BGH Group. At the Freital site, the company operates a compact steel mill with an electric arc furnace and downstream secondary metallurgy, as well as an ingot caster and a horizontal continuous caster. A coarse ingot mill and a wire rod mill are used for further processing. Wire rods and bars with diameters from 5 to 160 mm are produced from high-alloy materials as well as high-speed steel and nickel-base alloys for demanding applications. A single-bar tempering line, peeling and polishing lines, together with modern ultrasonic and crack-detection equipment ensure the high quality of the end products. Primetals Technologies had already modernized the drive and automation technology of the bar steel wire rod mill back in 2013 in Freital, while the electric arc furnace, also modernized by Primetals Technologies, has been in operation since 2017.