The successful operation of Metal Ravne, a member of the SIJ Group, is based on constant investment in development, technology and production. In recent months the company saw the completion of two important investments in the Steel Division, namely the modernization of the 45-tonne ultra high power electric arc furnace (EOP/UHP – ultra high power) and the new 45-tonne vacuum ladle furnace (LD VD/VOD – ladle furnace and vacuum degassing/vacuum oxygen decarburization).
Valued at over EUR 20 million, the two investments will enable Metal Ravne to continue the restructuring of its production program towards products aimed at the demanding segment of special steels with high added value. Nevertheless, tool steel will continue to comprise the majority of the company's production and sales range. The modernized electric arc furnace (EOP/UHP) with built-in burners speeds up the melting process, allowing Metal Ravne not just to reduce its energy costs, but also to increase its production and productivity. The company has also invested in a new dust extraction device for the old and new ladle furnace, an important contribution to their environmental efforts.
With the modernized electric arc furnace and new ladle furnace, Metal Ravne is able to produce a total of 12,000 tonnes of ingots (previously 10,000 tonnes at the most). The new ladle furnace with vacuum station (VD/VOD) is important for the development of demanding special steels, as it enables the production of ferrite and martensite stainless steels and low carbon steels, valued by Metal Ravne customers for their high resistance in extreme conditions. Ferrite and martensite steels are used for special purposes, for instance in the chemical industry, tubing, and in the construction of treatment plants and plants for the needs of the energy and construction sectors, since the additional treatment makes them corrosion resistant to chemicals and extremely high temperatures. Low carbon steels are used in the energy sector, for instance for making turbine blades.
Having successfully completed the two investments, Metal Ravne will continue by investing in a new, demanding steel program – the fourth ESR plant (electroslag remelting) and the first VAR plant (vacuum arc remelting) – and the ongoing project to modernize the Steel Plant, which includes the technological equipment for the casting unit.
In 2016 Metal Ravne anticipates an increase in both sales value and quantity. The company enjoys a high, consistent level of orders. Andrej Gradišnik, director of Metal Ravne, said:
"Thanks to the new equipment at Metal Ravne, we expect the annual production of end products in the highly demanding special steel segment to increase by 10,000 tonnes. The investment in secondary technology – the new ladle furnace (LF) and vacuum station (VD/VOD) – makes the perfect addition to our last major investment in 2012, the third electroslag remelting plant (ESR). Due to the expected shut-downs during the implementation of the investment at the steel plant, production in the first nine months of 2015 was somewhat lower than in the same period last year, but thanks to our improved sales structure we were able to maintain our income at virtually the same level as last year, while the improved structure meant that sales prices were actually slightly higher than in the same period in 2014."
The SIJ Group is the largest Slovenian vertically integrated metallurgist group, ranked among the top market positions in the European and world niche steel markets. The Group comprises five business areas, has 22 affiliated companies in Europe and the USA, and employs 3,200 people.
In 2014 the SIJ Group generated EUR 707.8 million in revenues, a 7% increase in comparison with 2013. The EBITDA increased by 91% reaching EUR 77.8 million. The 11% EBITDA margin that was achieved put the SIJ Group among the most successful world steel producing groups in 2014. The EBIT amounted to EUR 39.6 million and increased by 18 times in comparison with 2013, and net profit was slightly less than EUR 25 million.