The steel heart of Podbrezová has been beating for thirty years

This year, the electric arc furnace (EAF) of our parent company, Železiarne Podbrezová, celebrates an exceptional milestone: its 30th anniversary. For three decades, this crucial facility has been the epicenter of our steel production, supporting the growth and success of the company.

In 1993, Železiarne Podbrezova marked a turning point with the introduction of the new electric arc furnace, which made the company self-sufficient in producing steel semi-finished products for the tube rolling mill. This pulsating heart of the factory has been continuously operational for three decades.

The investment was preceded by years of preparation, with a focus on productivity and ecology dating back to the factory’s development in 1969. The Siemens-Martin furnaces and electric furnaces of that time were obsolete and inefficient. The new electric arc furnace was designed to be faster, more cost-effective, and environmentally friendly, thanks to the dust extraction system. The construction of the EAF took place in the area of the former rolling mill, and together with the continuous casting plant operating since 1982, it marked the beginning of a new era.

The EAF established itself as one of the most modern in Central Europe. Initially, the melting process took six hours, but today it has been reduced to about one hour. The advantages include automatic electrode regulation, load conveyor belts, panel cooling, and automated control of the furnace and fume extraction during melting. Operators have a complete overview of all melting processes, ensuring safety and efficiency.

The company has continued to innovate both in production and environmental protection. Investments have included the purchase of a new furnace chamber to increase efficiency, the installation of bone-combustion torches to accelerate production, the use of residual heat to heat various structures, and the upgrading of the electrode regulation system for a programmed power profile and increased operator safety.

The EAF has become an essential part of the entire company, ensuring continuity and production efficiency through continuous innovations and modernizations.

Interesting facts about the EAF:

  • In one hour, the furnace can melt 60 tons of steel scrap. The capacity of a Euro-truck trailer is 20 tons.
  • The temperature during the melting process reaches 1620 degrees Celsius.
  • In one minute, the EAF consumes as much energy as a normal household consumes in about two months.
  • With an annual production of 370,000 tons of steel semi-finished products, it would be possible to connect the village of Podbrezová to Brussels with a continuous line. The distance between them is 1430 kilometers.
  • The highest number of melts in one day was achieved in October 2021, with 25 melts in a single day. The normal production is 21 melts per day.
  • By the end of 2022, nine million tons of steel were produced, which represents a distance of 28,391 kilometers of square-section semi-finished products measuring 205 millimeters (the most commonly produced size). Did you know that the distance between the North Pole and the South Pole is 13,832 kilometers?

Article written by:

Ing. Marcel Adamcak

Ing. Marcel Adamcak

Marketing Director at Zeleziarne Podbrezova

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