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RCC launches a new converter department at Karabashmed plant

The project will not only help to improve the performance of the enterprise, but also minimize the plant’s environmental impact.

Karabashmed Copper-Smelting Plant (located in Karabash, Chelyabinsk Region, and forming part of the Russian Copper Company Group) has launched the first of three new converters installed as part of a large-scale upgrade of the enterprise's chemical and metallurgical complex. The equipment was launched on August 30 during the business trip of the Governor of Chelyabinsk Region Boris Dubrovsky and Chairman of the Board of Directors of RCC Igor Altushkin to the Karabash City District.

Investments in the construction of the new converter department amounted to 1.1 billion rubles. The shop was prepared and the equipment was installed gradually from October 2017, while the plant continued operations. The three Kumera converters were installed on the site, and the capacity of each converter is 150 tonnes. The automated system for operating the equipment will allow strict control over all key process variables. They will help speed up the production process by 25% and reduce the environmental impact of the enterprise.

A comment by the Governor of Chelyabinsk Region Boris Dubrovsky: "Karabash is lucky as it has a clear development strategy for the district, and there is a sustainable large company operating in the city which creates jobs and introduces the best copper production technologies which are currently available." RCC is an example of a successful company which increases its technical competence and market share and develops its strategy together with the area and the city where one of its key assets is located. We see a reduction in emissions and the effect of environmental measures implemented by RCC alongside the development of technologies."

A comment by Vsevolod Levin, President of RCC: "Since 2004, we have invested over 18 billion rubles in upgrading the Karabashmed plant. During these years, the company's productivity has tripled, while emissions have decreased by more than 20 times. We are installing new equipment, increasing capacities and, at the same time, reducing the environmental impact of the enterprise. We are developing production and investing in improving the quality of life of Karabash residents. In 2017, we opened the Metallurg multifunctional sports center, and in the summer of 2019, a modern shopping and leisure center will be opened. In addition, we are designing other new facilities of social importance. We are interested in continuing operation in Karabash and we will cooperate with the district both in terms of production and in the social sphere."

A powerful gas purification system will function in the new converter department. Fitting the equipment with gas-tight and aspirating dust caps will allow complete neutralization of waste gases in steelmaking, including downstream gases and gases produced when the converter is turned. These emissions will be collected and sent to the electric filter, and then to the company's sulfuric acid shop for disposal. The new gas purification system will also prevent dust discharge to the shop. A combination of these measures will help to improve working conditions and reduce the environmental impact of production. The gas purification system of the converter department of Karabashmed plant will be fully launched in 2019, when all three new Kumera converters are put into operation.

Another stage of the large-scale upgrade program at Karabashmed will increase the company's output by 25% compared to 2017, i.e. to 150,000 tonnes of blister copper per year (including 130,000 tonnes from minerals).

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