ArcelorMittal Zenica Boosts Productivity with a New BOF

A new 125-ton BOF expands the production capacity of Bosnian steel producer ArcelorMittal Zenica in Zenica, Bosnia Herzegovina. One of the world’s leading steel and mining companies, ArcelorMittal, operates in 60 countries with nearly 168,000 employees. The steel plant in the center of Bosnia and Herzegovina was founded in 1892 and has been operated by ArcelorMittal since 2004. With 2,300 employees, ArcelorMittal Zenica is the largest producer of long steel products in the Balkans, with an annual production capacity of almost one million tons. The product range includes rebar (in bars and coils), wire rod, mesh, and lattice girders.

Improved Volume, Capacity, and Capabilities

As part of the project, the BOF has an optimized vessel shape, increasing converter reaction volume by almost 30 percent. The new technology has also reduced the tap-to-tap time, leading to a higher production line capacity. Simultaneously, ArcelorMittal Zenica can now produce a broader range of steel grades.  

This project was very successful—everything went smoothly and within the expected timeframe. The converter reaction volume has increased thanks to the new solution, and this vessel has shorter tap-to-tap times. These are strong benefits for us.”

Adnan Topalovic
Head of CAPEX and Projects Department
at ArcelorMittal Zenica
The new 125-ton LD converter (BOF) at ArcelorMittal Zenica’s steel plant ensures increased productivity and eliminates sloping issues.
The new 125-ton LD converter (BOF) at ArcelorMittal Zenica’s steel plant ensures increased productivity and eliminates sloping issues. 

A converter vessel, a trunnion ring, and Vaicon Link 2.0, the maintenance-free suspension system, were the essential equipment included in the scope of supply from Primetals Technologies, along with the engineering, project management, and quality assurance and advisory services for construction work and implementation together with its consortium partner.

We had many issues with the suspension system on the former converter. We investigated the best possible option and had the choice between a common lamella type and the suspension system from Primetals Technologies. Feedback from other steel producers told us that Vaicon Link 2.0 has the best ratings.”

Adnan Topalovic

Productivity is Key

Previously, slopping—i.e., slag flowing over the converter—was a common issue with the old converter. Thanks to the optimized shape of the new vessel, this problem no longer exists, increasing yield. The project also had a tight schedule and was impacted by Covid-19 restrictions. Nevertheless, the teams from ArcelorMittal Zenica and Primetals Technologies partnered up for weekly follow-up meetings, and teams resolved potential issues quickly, thanks to fast response times.

Revamped BOF at ArcelorMittal Zenica

Scope of supply for the converter at ArcelorMittal Zenica:

  • Converter vessel
  • Trunnion ring
  • Vaicon Link 2.0 suspension system
  • Detachable bottom with a new design that minimizes the risk of breakouts
  • Bearings and housings
  • Tilting drive coupling, lining machine modifications
  • Engineering, project management, and quality assurance services
  • Services for the construction work and implementation


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