PKU Pioneer and Nanyang Hanye Special Steel have signed an agreement for the construction of a VPSA oxygen plant for a blast furnace ironmaking project in China.

Hayne Special Steel currently has an annual output of four million tonnes of medium, and heavy steel plates and hopes the new plant will further increase that production.

Increasing the steel capacity, however, leads to higher oxygen demand to ensure the smooth running of the ironmaking blast furnace. In order to serve its demand, the company needs the oxygen to fill an oxygen gap of approximately 20000Nm3/h.

The cost is high based on the oxygen, approximately $0.2-0.28/m3, however, by adopting the oxygen plant, the investment can be reduced to approximately $0.03-0.035/m3.

Taking into consideration equipment depreciation and other factors, a total operating cost of more than $140,773 will be saved annually.

Hanye Special Steel intends to erect the VPSA oxygen unit in three phases, each with the capacity of 7500Nm3/h and purity of 80% (equivalent to 6000Nm3/h for pure oxygen). 

Project phases

At the end of 2018, Hanye Special Steel and PKU Pioneer started the cooperation on the phase 1 oxygen production project. Once operational, the oxygen system provided stable and reliable enriched oxygen for the blast furnace.

Due to the smooth progress of phase 1, Hanye Special Steel quickly started the second phase without any hesitation and signed the agreement with PKU Pioneer in February 2020.

At present, the phase 2 oxygen unit has entered the pre-procurement stage, and delivery is expected to be completed in May.