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ProcessBarron retrofits help Severstal steel plant save 25 GWh/y in energy

16 July 2014

Last year, air, gas and material handling equipment company ProcessBarron retrofitted four 2,750-hp fans that send particulates from an electric arc furnace (EAF) to a baghouse for air pollution control at the Severstal steel plant in Columbus, Miss. These retrofits have helped the Severstal Columbus plant achieve more than 25,251,390 kWh (25 GWh) per year in energy savings and reduced the plant’s EAF energy costs by $0.70 per ton, qualifying it for the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Major Industrial Program.

The TVA program encourages reductions in electric energy intensity in large industrial facilities having greater than 5 megawatts of contract demand. Plants that qualify for the program and that complete a project to reduce electric energy consumption will be awarded a lump-sum of $0.10 per kWh on first-year savings or 70 percent of the project cost, whichever is less.

The greatest efficiency opportunity identified at the Severstal steel plant was retrofitting the four fans.

This program, along with the state of Mississippi, awarded Severstal more than $2.5 million for the plant’s reduction in electricity consumption in October 2013.

TVA estimates Severstal will save $1.6 million annually in energy costs.

Since October, ProcessBarron’s air handling system retrofits have produced significant savings thanks to increased wear resistance, reduced maintenance costs, and more reliable operation. Fan maintenance costs are down 80% at the steel plant and the on-budget, on-time project is set to deliver ROI in the projected timeframe of less than two years. In addition, CO2 emissions at the steel plant have been reduced by 30,000 tons per year.

To engineer the cost-saving and emissions-reducing designs, ProcessBarron conducted a thorough field performance assessment. A computational fluid dynamics (CFD) study was conducted to predict wear patterns, allowing ProcessBarron to incrementally optimize the design to control wear and improve rotor life.

Severstal North America is one of the largest steel producers the United States, with corporate headquarters and integrated operations in Dearborn, Mich. A state-of-the-art electric arc furnace operation in Columbus, Miss., serves the growing demand for steel in the southeastern United States. SNA is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Severstal, one of the world’s largest steel and mining companies.

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