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Steelmaker SSAB to start using liquefied natural gas in Raahe mill slab reheating furnace

Steelmaker SSAB will start using liquified natural gas (LNG) in its Raahe (Finland) steel mill, where it will replace the use of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in the walking beam furnace in the strip mill and be as a support and additional fuel in the boiler in Raahe Voima’s power plant. Work on building the LNG storage facility is under way and the facility will be brought into use in 2018.

The Raahe mill makes hot-rolled plate and strip, with end uses in industrial applications and engineering, construction machinery, heavy transport, material handling, and the energy industry.

A walking beam furnace is used to reheat steel slabs for rolling—a key step in steel product manufacturing.

Use of LNG will enable SSAB to replace the use of oil-based fuels and thus reduce present levels of particulate, nitrogen and sulfur oxide, and carbon dioxide emissions. LNG will replace roughly 90% of the LPG used earlier at the mill, although LPG is still required for some applications, such as flame cutting.

Raahen Voima is currently building an LNG storage facility at SSAB Raahe. Two large LNG-tanks, 35 meters long and 6 meters in diameter, will arrive by road at the storage facility at the end of November. The Raahe LNG storage facility is delivered under turnkey contract by technology group Wärtsilä.

The LNG will be transported to Raahe by tanker trucks from Manga LNG Oy’s terminal in Tornio, northern Finland. Deliveries to Raahe will start in early 2018.

Manga LNG Oy, which owns the LNG terminal in Tornio, is a joint venture by Outokumpu Oyj, SSAB, Skangas and EPV Energia Oy. SSAB has a 25% share in the terminal project. SSAB has invested around €7 million (US$8.4 million) in the terminal project, as well as around €5 million (US$6 million) in the LNG storage facility in Raahe.

The switch to using natural gas is part of SSAB’s strategy to make the energy system even more sustainable, more cost efficient and to spread the risk by using several different types of fuel. SSAB Borlänge switched over to using LNG a couple of years ago.


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