News and Press Releases

London, November 10, 2015

Primetals Technologies starts up first of three LD (BOF) converters at SSAB in Finland

  • Optimized converter design boosts productivity
  • Maintenance-free converter suspension ensures long useful life 
  • New blowing lance geometry and Vaicon slag stopper improve steel quality

In October, the first of three LD (BOF) converters supplied by Primetals Technologies commenced operation at the Raahe, Finland works of SSAB Europe Oy. With almost unchanged space requirements, the new converters have a larger reaction volume. The maintenance-free Vaicon Link 2.0, which will be used as the converter suspension, minimizes stress caused by heat-induced deformation and has a longer useful life. A blowing lance tip geometry adjusted to the new converter geometry, bottom stirring and a slag stopper improve the metallurgical properties of the steel produced. A new refractory concept will ensure long converter lining campaign. The converters are scheduled to come on stream in stages until August 2016.

SSAB Europe Oy is part of the SSAB group, a leading producer on the global market for Advanced High Strength Steels (AHSS) and Quenched & Tempered Steels (Q&T), strip, plate and tubular products, as well as construction solutions. The group has an annual steel production capacity of 8.8 million metric tons of steel and operates production plants in Sweden, Finland and the USA. The integrated steel mill in Raahe is the largest production facility of its kind in the Nordic countries. With two blast furnaces, three LD converters, secondary metallurgical systems and three continuous casting systems, up to 2.6 million metric tons of steel can be produced and cast here every year.

The existing converters in the Raahe factory each have a tapping weight of 125 metric tons. Primetals Technologies is replacing them with three converters featuring a detachable bottom and a bottom stirring system. The converter has an optimized geometry, which enables a larger reaction volume as well as a new concept for the refractory lining which has a longer useful life. The Primetals Technologies scope includes engineering of the converter vessels, trunnion rings and the Vaicon Link 2.0 maintenance-free suspension systems. The converters feature the Vaicon Stopper to minimize slag transfer on tapping. The tip of the blowing lance is adapted to the new converter geometry, which improves the blowing process and therefore the metallurgical properties of the steel produced. Primetals Technologies is also responsible for monitoring the pre-assembly and installation work as well as for commissioning.


LD (BOF) converter supplied by Primetals Technologies at the Finnish Raahe works of SSAB Europe Oy

Primetals Technologies, Limited, headquartered in London, United Kingdom, is a worldwide leading engineering, plant-building and lifecycle partner for the metals industry. The company offers a complete technology, product and service portfolio that includes the integrated electrics, automation and environmental solutions. This covers every step of the iron and steel production chain that extends from the raw materials to the finished product – in addition to the latest rolling solutions for the nonferrous metals sector. Primetals Technologies is a joint venture of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) and Siemens. Mitsubishi-Hitachi Metals Machinery (MHMM) - an MHI consolidated group company with equity participation by Hitachi, Ltd. and IHI Corporation - holds a 51% stake and Siemens a 49% stake in the company. The company employs around 9,000 employees worldwide. Further information is available on the Internet at