One of Russia’s largest mining and metal company’s, Mechel OAO, has launched the new second converter in Chelyabinsk Metallurgical Plant’s oxygen-converter shop.

Replacement of the second converter is the first stage of significant restructuring program for Chelyabinsk Metallurgucal Plant's oxygen converter shop.

According to Mechel, the program will be completed by 2013 and is scheduled to incorporate the full replacement of the shop’s three converters, alongside the dedusting of tracts and associated equipment.

Once the program is complete, the facility’s annual output is expected to increase by 950,000 tonnes to a total output of 4,550,000 tonnes. The total project cost is estimated at $173.8m, while the second converter gas cost a total of $44.1m.

The new converter was produced by the Austrian manufacturer, Siemens VAI, while the cooler, dedusting system and stack module were all manufactured by the Ukrainian technology firm, Energostal.

According to a recent press statement issued by Mechel, the new converter will increase the firm's cast weight from 140 to 152 tonnes, whilst also reducing the time required for cast treatment.

Other less direct benefits includes the very environmentally friendly modern dedusting system which ensures maximum filtering and in turn, helps to reduce emission of waste gas into the atmosphere.