13th October 2020
At the beginning of 2020, SSAB EMEA AB has chosen Paul Wurth to carry out, on EPC basis, a revamp of parts of its coke battery at Luleå steel works in northern Sweden, which focuses on battery life extension and emissions reduction.
Considering the harsh Scandinavian winter conditions, the replacement works were planned in two steps: preparation activities to remove existing constraints in summer 2020, followed by the main intervention for replacing the raw gas system and the ovens refractory roof in summer 2021.
With the occurrence of the sanitary crisis and related travel and working constraints, very quick alternatives were to be found for ensuring our revamp approach, typically making use of on-site measurements and checks focused on data collection for design purposes, and for mitigating the impact on the supply chain. Thanks to a close collaboration between Paul Wurth’s Service team and the SSAB project team, working in a remote way, an innovative methodology was introduced for making the first intervention of this type a success, notwithstanding the difficult conditions.
On 15 September, during a planned blast furnace shutdown, the joint project team, with the support of the erection company VINAB, successfully replaced in only 7 hours the old gate valves on the off-takes. In addition, without proceeding with hot tapping activities, a new coke oven gas (COG) feeding line could be connected to the suction main, thus creating a long bypass on the exhauster system.
These present site activities were a precondition to organise in a safe way next summer’s intervention, where the existing raw gas system, including ascension pipes, gas collecting main, bleeders, off-takes as well as the refractory oven roof, related upper metal structure and the charging machine rails will be replaced during a unique partial shutdown and by heating up the battery with the produced COG.
Thanks to our tailored-made and optimised approach, which minimises production losses, this revamp project will provide the 54-ovens battery at Luleå with an extended lifetime, ensuring future sustainable and environmentally friendly coke making operations.