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Outokumpu gradually switched over to using more climate friendly LNG

December 4, 2023    |     ASES

ASES carries out modifications at Outokumpu cold rolling mills 

ASES has carried out several assignments at Outokumpu’s cold rolling mills as they shift to using liquefied natural gas (LNG), over the last couple of years. The shift to using LNG decreases carbon dioxide emissions, thus helping Outokumpu forward with their climate objectives.

The recently opened Manga LNG terminal in Röyttä harbor in Tornio has a direct gas pipeline to Outokumpu’s stainless steel plant. The first part of the plant to use LNG is the cold rolling mills, where it’s used e.g. in annealing furnaces. To replace the previously used liquefied petroleum gas with LNG, a variety of pipework and burner changes had to be made at different process phases of the cold rolling mills. ASES carried out the automation installations and modifications to four production lines at Outokumpu Tornio works’ cold rolling mills.

The modifications were started already in fall 2016 from the annealing and pickling line 2, whereas the last production line was modified during fall 2018. The last quarter of 2018 was used to carry out finalizing installations and commissioning all four modified production lines. Even though the timetable of the project has prolonged due to other parties, Outokumpu’s project engineer Kimmo Regina is very satisfied to ASES’s expertise and flexible service.

”The cooperation has been excellent, even as the timetable has been prolonged. They have been very flexible and adaptive to all situations,” Mr. Regina explains.

 

A challenging and time sensitive project

As modifications have been made to old production lines, some challenges have also occurred. According to Mr. Regina, ASES’s specialists have found solutions to all problems. He also finds it a positive surprise how well ASES has responded the prolonged timetables with their expert staff.  

“Compared to many contractors operating nationwide, we considered if a local contractor would have enough resources as the timetables have changed, but they have handled everything excellently. Their competence was particularly evident at the commissioning phase,” Mr. Regina comments. 

The requirement level in this case was high. For example, cabling and changing the burner units at the RAP5 line (continuous rolling-annealing-pickling line) at Outokumpu’s cold rolling mill 2 included 206 burners and 2300 separate control cables. Time sensitivity of the installations was critical, as there were only 10 working days to carry out the installations.

Even as the LNG modifications have now been carried out, the ASES engineers and electricians will most probably be seen at other automation assignments at Outokumpu in the future. “We’d be glad to work again with a contractor that has proven their expertise,” Mr. Regina states cheerfully.

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