News & Press Releases

London, December 22, 2022

Primetals Technologies successfully shipped 330-ton LD converter (BOF) to the U.S.

  • 330-ton converter with a maintenance free suspension system supplied to US customer
  • First time ever Primetals Technologies ships equipment this large overseas
  • Innovative slag retention system ensures high-quality steel production

Recently, the 138-meter-long cargo ship Happy River left the harbour in Rotterdam and headed for a U.S.-based steel producer. On that ship was an LD converter (BOF) from Primetals Technologies with a heat size of 330 tons. It will replace one of the steel producer’s existing converters, which has cracks in its walls and therefore is at the end of its lifetime.

The new converter has been assembled in Europe and was shipped overseas in one 560-ton piece. Thanks to this transportation solution, the steel producer will be able to skip any vessel assembly on site and will profit from shorter shutdown periods once the new converter is installed. Furthermore, all critical weld seams were done in a certified workshop, which ensures the highest possible quality and durability.

Detailed calculations

To ship equipment this large, meticulous preparation works is required. As an example, detailed calculations were done to ensure that the converter stayed in place during the two-week-long boat trip, even in the event of the ship getting caught in a storm. The on-board ship cranes were used to lift the converter onto the cargo ship and to unload the vessel at the harbour in the U.S.A.  

Minimized amount of slag

The LD converter will be equipped with both the Vaicon Stopper slag retention system and the Vaicon Link 2.0 vessel suspension system. Developed by Primetals Technologies, the Vaicon Stopper makes sure that only a minimal amount of slag enters the ladle during tapping. This solution ensures shorter production cycles and higher steel quality compared to conventional technologies for slag retention. An infrared camera detects slag as it leaves the tap hole – the system then stops the tapping by blowing in nitrogen.

A maintenance-free vessel suspension system, Vaicon Link 2.0 keeps the vessel stable and allows for free thermal expansion in all directions.

Primetals Technologies’ scope of supply includes engineering, manufacturing of the equipment, pre-assembly works of the converter, trunnion ring, suspension system, and transport from Europe to the U.S.A.

The 330-ton LD converter (BOF) from Primetals Technologies is lifted onto the cargo ship Happy River in the Rotterdam harbour.

Primetals Technologies, Limited, headquartered in London, United Kingdom, is a pioneer and world leader in the fields of engineering, plant building, and the provision of lifecycle services for the metals industry. The company offers a complete technology, product, and services portfolio that includes integrated electrics and automation, digitalization, and environmental solutions. This covers every step of the iron and steel production chain—from the raw materials to the finished product—and includes the latest rolling solutions for the nonferrous metals sector. Primetals Technologies is a joint venture of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and partners, with around 7,000 employees worldwide. To learn more about Primetals Technologies, visit the company website www.primetals.com.