Alfa Acciai’s 140,000 m2 steel mill occupies the largest part of the 353,000 m2 plant and employs a 300-strong workforce.
Steel production ‘starts’ in the scrap yard, where part of the scrap is conveyed to the shredder, continues in the production bay and ends at the platform ejecting the billets that are moved on to the rolling process.
Two EAFs handle the steel mill’s core process and feed two production lines. The steel is refined in a bath and the metallurgical parameters are determined in the relevant ladle furnaces.
The billet casting process is handled by two 5-strand continuous casting machines. The operating parameters are handled by a complex automated system that provides real-time optimisation and makes it possible to adjust them whenever necessary.
The steel mill turns out billets with a square cross section, in the range of 130-160 mm, and 5 to 12 m in length.
The plant is engineered so that the production process is closely linked to a series of satellite facilities, including a modern off-gas system for furnace 1, which was built in 2007 to high environmental safety standards, which undergo constant improvements, such as a recent intervention to introduce permanent dioxin monitoring, used up until then only in waste-to-energy plants.
Over the years the steel mill has undergone regular technological upgrades to ensure that competitiveness, sustainability and safety progress hand in hand. This has entailed a series of investments in new equipment, including a new off-gas system, new smelting furnace and continuous casting machine control cabins providing improved operator comfort, a process control system to safeguard product quality, and a fully automated monitoring system to ensure a high standard of safety. The company has achieved both the environmentally-friendly slag treatment investment and the hyper-technological management of the scrap yard.
With the aim of achieving maximum efficiency upstream the smelting process and improving the quality of the scrap used, Alfa Acciai has entered into a partnership with Harsco Metals, an US worldwide leader in the supply of innovative technologies and services to steel mills for the processing of materials, logistics and recovery of metals from process residues.