Press release


Ljubljana, Wednesday, 18 April 2018 - SIJ Metal Ravne, SIJ Group company, together with the Jožef Stefan Institute, within the framework of the programme HORIZON 2020 and together with foreign partners obtained funds for an innovative project for the reuse of the excessive heat generated during the steel production. The purpose of the ETEKINA project is to confirm within the demonstration project the efficiency of excessive heat recovery with the help of the innovative heat exchanger technology in the form of heat pipes in the energy intensive industry by achieving at least 40% of the excessive heat efficiency.

The part of the excessive heat generated by the steel production, namely flue gases of the Allino furnace at SIJ Metal Ravne, in future will be used for the preliminary heating of the air in the Allino furnace and for the heating of SIJ Metal Ravne. The steelworker of the SIJ Group from Ravne launched the project, which continues to recover the excessive or technological heat generated within the production processes of top quality steels. Together with the Jožef Stefan Institute - Energy Efficiency Center (IJS-CEU), within the framework of the four-year international pilot project ETEKINA (heat pipE TECHnologies for INdustrial Applications) set an innovative heat pipe technology, with the help of which will pursue a very high purpose of the excessive heat recovery for more than 40 percent.

SIJ Metal Ravne and IJS, together with foreign partners obtained funds due to the persuasive participation in the tender of the innovative research programme EU Horizon 2020 - the largest European programme for promotion of innovations. Upon recognition of all partners’ potential, the project was placed in an important, more than 5 million Euros worth research project ETEKINA. It includes strong cooperation of ten companies and institutes from all over Europe that combined their knowledge and experience in order to achieve the groundbreaking improvement in the energy efficiency in energy intensive industries. Within the framework of the ETEKINA project, three prototypes will be produced and tested in three different production plants in the steel sector (Slovenia), aluminium (Spain) and ceramics (Italy). The pilot solution to be implemented is based on the heat exchanger technology using heat pipes for the thermal recovery.

"In the pilot project, in SIJ Metal Ravne we will use the energy of excessive flue gases from the Allino furnace (the heating furnace for billets) as an excessive heat source. Now flue gases with a temperature of 450°C freely pass into the atmosphere. With the heat exchanger from heat pipes, we will take away part of the energy from the flue gas and use it to heat the fresh air in the furnace itself and to heat the hot water, which will further be used for the heating of SIJ Metal Ravne,” said Kristijan Plesnik, responsible for the energetics in SIJ Metal Ravne.

"The main purpose of the project is to approve the technology of heat pipes for the recovery of the excessive heat in the energy intensive sector, as well as to connect and strengthen the cooperation with research institutions, in our case with the Jožef Stefan Institute, and the least, but not the last to gain experience and establish good international relations with foreign companies. If the technology turns out to be useful, we can hope to use it in some more cases, not only in SIJ Metal Ravne but also in SIJ Acroni,” said Samo Lečnik, Head of Energetics of the SIJ Group.

The units of the heat exchanger in the form of heat pipes will be developed by experts from Brunel University London (United Kingdom). During the recent visit, their expert and project coordinator, prof. Hussam Jouhara visited SIJ Metal Ravne and was satisfied with the current efforts of both partners: "I think that SIJ Metal Ravne and IJS have performed all the necessary demanding preparations for the successful implementation of the project. Together, we have also set an optimal location for the installation of a device for the recovery of 40 percent of the excessive heat with an innovative heat exchanger in the form of heat pipes.”

"Cooperation between IJS-CEU and SIJ Metal Ravne on the ETEKINA project is a good example how to connect the science and industry and transfer the knowledge and innovation in order to improve energy efficiency in the industry. The successful implementation of the ETEKINA project and the installation of a pilot device for the excessive heat recovery in SIJ Metal Ravne represents a concrete technological and implementation framework for new innovative projects for the excessive heat recovery in energy-intensive industries. Due to such projects, we can greatly contribute to reducing the energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions in Slovenia, thinks," dr. Fouad Al-Mansour, Head of the Research Group and Project Leader at IJS-CEU.

SIJ Metal Ravne, a member of the SIJ Group, already for some time takes care of the excessive heat energy recovery: in 2017, they delivered one third of all the necessary heat for the heating of Ravne-na- Koroškem, and part of this energy, as a donation from the SIJ Group, is used to heat swimming pools of the Sport Center in Ravne na Koroškem.

The SIJ Group is the largest vertically integrated metallurgical group in Slovenia, occupying with its products leading positions on European and global niche steel markets. Alongside the Metallurgy Division (its core business), the SIJ Group is also composed of the Poultry Division (the Perutnina Ptuj Group). Together, the two divisions created revenues of 1.012 billion Euros in 2017, 103.8 million Euros of earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), and a net profit of 15 million Euros. Both divisions created most of the 2017 revenues in foreign markets. Steel exports amounted to 821.5 million Euros, which is 81.1 percent of the total revenues

Additional information:
SIJ - Slovenska industrija jekla, d.d.
mag. Sara Wagner, Head of corporate communications
Telephone: +386 1 242 98 27
Mobile: +386 41 313 532

allino pec furnace etekina foto dobran laznik 6