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The team LIBERTY Ostrava has had a fantastic week as they were able to promote to national and local stakeholders both the plant’s move towards CN30 as well as its increased flexibility.
Firstly, it received approval from the Czech Ministry of Environment to implement new low carbon technologies and start its journey towards becoming carbon neutral by 2030. The Ministry approved the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for Ostrava’s ambitious investment plan to transform its steel making operations through the use of two hybrid furnaces, the first of their kind in Europe. The modern hybrid technology, which will replace the plant’s existing tandem furnaces by the end of 2022, will have a significantly lower environmental footprint reducing carbon emissions by more than 50% and particulate emissions by 66%.
Later in the week and after an idling period of almost four-months, Ostrava restarted its Blast Furnace No. 2 following essential repairs worth more than CZK 44 million (€1.7 million/£1.5 million). The restart highlights the ability of the LIBERTY Ostrava business to flex its operations in line with market demand and was very positively received by the plant’s stakeholders, including the Czech Government.
The idling period started in mid-April and after the furnace had cooled down for 40 days, an extensive repair programme started. These repairs included the replacement of the cooling piping, the modernization of the furnace cooling system as well as minor repairs to the hot-blast stoves, charging machines, skip tracks and the dust collector.
In line with an old steelmakers´ tradition, Ostrava’s Chief Smelter reignited the burners of Blast Furnace No.2, which was first lit on October 1, 1952, with a torch lit with fire from the plant’s other Blast Furnace.