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Shagang kickoff the first commercialized Castrip® project in China

Shagang Group officially announced the launch of a decisive technical innovation project on 1st,August 2016,i.e. to build the first commercialized Castrip® production facility in China. This is a vital move by Shagang in optimizing the product portfolio and seizing marketplace niches via high end technical cooperation with a top steel maker worldwide while introducing innovative technology.

Shen Wenrong, chairman of the board of Shagang Group,  John Ferriola, chairman, president and CEO of Nucor Steel, USA, Ladd Hall, executive vice president of Nucor Steel, Frank Fisher, president of Castrip LLC and Dang Bing, assistant president of MCC-Capital Engineering & Research Incorporation Ltd(CERI), Deputy mayor of Zhangjiagang City, the Secretary of CPC Working Committee of Jinfeng Metallurgy Industrial Park, Mr. Zhao Jianming, and the Director of Zhangjiagang Development and Reform Committee, Mr. Chang Zheng, attended the press conference.

The Castrip® technology is a development work by Nucor Steel and its partners for the production of light gauge steel strip using twin roll casting and rolling process, which is one of the most cutting edge production methods for sheet product with great potential in current steel industry. It is also a technology with unique advantages because of low energy consumption, low investment & operation costs, outstanding environmental stewardship and minimized land occupation, which is why many worldwide leading steel makers are eagerly making investments and trying to develop and commercialize. For many years  Castrip LLC, a joint venture of Nucor Steel and its partners, is dedicated in promoting this technology via selecting worldwide leading steel makers to  collaborate on further developments of this technology.

Shagang has been chosen as a strategic partner of Castrip LLC in China, while Shagang is granted with an exclusive license of this technology in China. The Castrip® facility to be built in Shagang is the first one worldwide outside of North America.This project is of great importance for Shagang in technological upgrading, and business reorientation. It is also a major step for Nucor Steel and Castrip LLC in promoting the technology.

The steel business of Shagang started in 1975. Since the adoption of Opening and Reform policy, especially in the “Twelfth 5 year plan” period, Shagang has become a major player in the steel business due to an intense focus on technical development, innovation, product optimization, environmental stewardship. As the biggest private and state level innovative steel maker in China, Shagang possesses over 150 billion RMB assets with an annual production capacity of 33.65 million ton of steel. Shagang has been listed in the Fortune 500 for 8 consecutive years. The main products cover heavy plate, hot &cold rolled strip, hot galvanized strip, tin plate, wire rod, coiled bar, rebar, SBQ bar, which represent the competitiveness and  coverage of Shagang product in domestic and international market. Those products are sold in over 60 product families, over 700 steel grades and over 2000 sizes.

As a worldwide technology leader of steel industry Nucor Steel is the biggest and most profitable steel maker in USA with an annual production capacity over 21 million tons of steel. The most valuable award in US—the National Medal of Technology Innovation was granted by the president of USA for its achievements. The first Castrip® facility for industrial production in the world was built by Nucor in 2002 with a final strip size of 0.8—2mm in thickness, 1345mm in width and annual production of 500,000t. The whole production line is just 60 meters in length. The second Castrip® facility was built afterward in 2009. Up to now Nucor Steel is the only steel maker in the world that is successfully producing thin gauge strip product using twin-roll casting and rolling technology.

As parts of the project, the core mechanical equipment and automation will be imported and CERI is to provide plant engineering and non-core equipment. Castrip LLC is in charge of defining the technical features of the line and the overall project coordination and is to provide technical supports on various project phases based on the operation experiences of Nucor facilities. Technical and operational crews of Shagang will be trained in different stages .

The Castrip facility to be built in Shagang has a total length of approx.50 meters. The final product thickness will be 0.7—1.90 mm and max. width 1590mm.  Compared with conventional process, the whole production line is much more compact with a tremendous reduction of investment cost. Since the traditional slab torch cutting and reheating process are eliminated, and the whole hot strip rolling train is down sized to a single finishing mill stand, the main operational consumptions of the Castrip® facility such as: fuel, water and electricity will be dramatically reduced by 95%, 80% and 90% respectively, which will be a significant contribution for the environmental stewardship. By using Castrip® technology Shagang is able to reduce the production costs of light gauge hot strip product significantly, which will substantially increase the competitiveness of Shagang in those niches. This decisive action symbolizes a vital milestone for Shagang in the campaign of restructuring of product portfolio and upgrading of production facilities.