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Modernization of power plant at Raahe steelworks

Kimmo Kinnunen, Jukka Swanljung, SSAB Europe Oy/Raahe Steelworks

Contact data
Kimmo Kinnunen, SSAB Europe Oy, Rautaruukintie 155, P.O.Box 93, FI-92101 RAAHE, Phone number: +358 50 314
3374, e-mail:

SSAB operates a fully integrated steelworks at Raahe including coking plant with dry quenching, two blast furnaces,
steel plant, strip- and plate mills. Coke Dry Quenching Plant produces high pressure live steam for electricity
generation and steam distribution. CDQ-plant is connected with power plant by a long high pressure pipe line. Live
steam is mainly utilized in two turbine generators and blast furnace Nr. 1 turbo blower.

Raahen Voima Oy is a newly established company operating the power plant. The company is owned by SSAB and
EPV Energia Oy. Raahen Voima Oy is building a new power plant for utilizing process gases and for serving the
integrated steel works. The older boiler K3 and existing turbine generators will be replaced by a new boiler K5 and a
new turbine plant TG05. The existing boiler K4 will continue to be operated. The new units will start operation in
autumn 2016. Nominal pressure of new boiler will be similar to current 82 bar, but steam temperature will be risen from
525 C to 535 C compared to K3. Electricity generation efficiency improvement will be remarkable. BF1 blast air is
compressed by steam turbine blower which will be replaced by electric blower on 2016. The additional steam will be
utilized in electricity production, which had to be taken into account when the turbine capacity was defined.

Aging of existing machinery and pollution control are the main drivers behind the investment. Heavy fuel oil is currently
used as an auxiliary fuel at power and will be replaced by LNG on year 2016. Total energy efficiency of a power plant,
which is integrated in a steel plant, is a result of operational adaptability and technical efficiency with low calorific value
blast furnace gas. Load changes caused by process gas balance are typically very rapid.

battery number 1 mixed practice is used and at battery

Key words
number 2 the heating gas is pure coke oven gas
Process gas boiler, capacity optimization, renewing of (COG). COG is also used in limekilns as a fuel. Three
power plant, steel works, process gas balance converters (125 t/each) are operated at steel plant
producing crude steel for the site. Converter gas is not
Introduction recovered, but the sensible heat of oxidized flue gas is
Raahe steel plant is an integrated production facility recovered by heat exchangers and utilized in in district
consisting of a production chain from hot metal and heating at the plant and Raahe municipality.
coke to hot rolled plates and coils. Hot metal production
Rolling mill consists of plate mill line and strip mill line.
capacity is 2,6 Mt/a. Sinter plant was closed in the end
Capacities are 0,75 and 2,25 Mt/a. Plate mill reheating
of 2011 since the sinter was replaces by iron ore
furnaces are heated by pure COG. Strip mill walking
pellets in blast furnaces. Consequence of pellet burden
beam furnaces utilize the rest of COG and required
is blast furnace gas (BFG) of low calorific value. Coke
energy demand is covered by propane gas. Power
making capacity does not meet blast furnace coke
plant generates electricity, steam and seasonal district
consumption and some merchant coke must be
heat. A lay-out of Raahe steel plant is presented in
purchased. Coking plant consists of two batteries. At
Figure 1.

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Figure 1. Raahe steel plant lay-out.

Power plant is a combination of units operating in same new power plant. The new company called Raahen
high pressure steam main. Power plant lay-out is Voima Oy bought existing power plant and invested in
presented in Figure 2. Two boilers K3 and K4, which a new boiler and turbine plant. Raahen Voima is owned
were commissioned year 1975 and 1990, are process by SSAB Europe Oy and EPV-Energia Oy in a ratio of
gas boilers. Thermal capacities for those are 167 and 75/25.
127 MW th. Coking plant dry quenching unit (CDQ) is
equipped with three boilers with steam capacity 44 MW
in total, and they are designed to operate at the same
steam pressure and temperature (82 bar, 525 C) as
power plant. Turbine generator TG01 and blast furnace
nr:1 turbo blower were commissioned 1964. Nominal
capacities are 21 and 11 MW. Turbine generator TG02
is started first time on 1975. Its nominal capacity is 65
MW. Process steam is produced by steam tapping of
turbines, waste heat recovery boilers at rolling mill and
high pressure reduction valves at power plant.

Aging and decreased availability of the existing power

plant together with tightening flue gas emission limit
values were arguments those supported to start the
definition of power plant master design phase and road
map description. The new power plant was decided to
be built up with tight time schedule. A new company Figure 2. Main units of existing power plant.
was established for operating and constructing of the

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Investment basis drastically process gas flaring rate. Because there is no

possibility for process gas storage, the lost electricity
Air emission limits from Industrial Emissions Directive
production was calculated as cost for the alternative
(IED) will be legally binding in national legislation in
case of retrofitting the existing boilers. A new greenfield
Finland by the beginning of 2016. When using existing
boiler was decided to be built instead.
boilers the limits are tight for high calorific value
auxiliary fuels, especially for currently used heavy oil. Steel Works Energy Balance
Heavy oil will be replaced by LNG. Raahe steel plant
includes two blast furnaces those has only one tap Process gas balance of Raahe steel works is illustrated
hole, hence, the change of main runner takes place in in Figure 3. BFG is used in hot stoves, coking plant
every 4 weeks. Therefore a need for auxiliary fuel is battery nr:1 and power plant. COG is used in battery
relatively high, about 4-7 % of annual fuel rate. heating, lime kilns, plate mill, steel shop and strip mill.
Especially instantaneous consumption is high that Strip mill uses the rest of the COG for slap reheating.
settles a requirement of liquid type back-up fuel that Power plant generates extra electricity of COG that is
allows cost effective storage management. leftover during strip mill stoppages. Propane gas (LPG)
is used in strip mill reheating furnaces when COG-rate
Aging of existing boilers and turbine generators were is limited. Propane will be replaced by LNG as well but
expected to enforce to more frequent revision later than in the case of power plant. Chemical energy
stoppages. The stoppages of technical modernization of converter gas (BOFG) is recovered by heat
to fit the emission requirements were estimated to be exchangers after fully combustion hood and used for
expensive and cause long production stoppages. A heating of the steel plant and major part of the Raahe
long stoppage of a boiler increases risk of lower municipality.
availability of the whole steel works and increases

Figure 3. Sankey-type diagram of process gas balance at Raahe steelworks

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Annual numbers cannot be directly used for describing COG typically only when strip mill line is shut down.
plant specific process gas balance. Figure 4 is about COG gas folder size is 25 000 Nm and it is enough for
COG balance during one week in hourly accuracy. All buffering the gas for maximum of 45 min stoppage of
sites have a specific dynamic behavior depending on strip mill line. Therefore, power plant consumes COG in
number of process units, operation availability and some points simultaneously with strip mill line when
technical facts. The light green represents COG looking at the hourly averaged data.
combusted in power plant boilers. Power plant utilizes

Figure 4. Hourly based distribution of COG, one week period.

Power plant fuel rate of a week period is presented as minimum steam load for a safe operation of the turbine
an example in Figure 5. The time period is same as in plant. Additionally, the boilers have limit value for fuel
the previous Figure 4. A stoppage of one of two rate because minimum steam temperature has to be
operating blast furnaces can be seen in Figure 5 as reached.
increased oil demand. Oil has to be used until to the

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Figure 5. Hourly based fuel balance of power plant, one week period.

volume is large in a consequence of that. The chosen

Definition of New Power Plant Parameters
structure has a side effect unfortunately. In a fully
A lay-out of the new power plant structure is presented in auxiliary fuel operation, thermal power ratio compared
Figure 6. The new boiler is abbreviated to K5 and the new to flue gas volume is totally different from BFG-
turbine plant to TG05. operation and more fuel power is required for reaching
of minimum steam temperature. This problem is
tackled partly by including a flue gas recirculation
blower (FGR) to the order specification. FGR is argued
also because it decreases thermal NOx-generation in
high calorific value fuel operation as well. Primary
measures for minimizing NOx-emission are the most
important ones.

Blast furnace injection material type is nowadays extra

heavy bottom oil. Oil will be replaced by PCI by the end
of 2015. Hydrogen balance will be affected, hence,
specific gas generation rate (Nm /t HM) and top gas
heating value were calculated by a blast furnace mass
and heat balance model. Raahe steel works blast
furnaces are charged by 100 % pellet burden.
Therefore CO-content and calorific value of the top gas
Figure 6. Structure of a new power plant. are lower compared to sinter operation. Annual fuel
rates cannot be directly used in designing of capacity
The new boiler is equipped with 4 low-NOx-type multi- parameters of the new power plant. A set of annual
fuel burners. Fuel types in each burner are BFG, COG, duration curves of hourly fuel rates those are available
natural gas and light fuel oil for emergency situations. for power plant were drawn and studied. The predicted
Dimensions of boiler structure are designed to enable annual process gas rates were fit to expected duration
maximum thermal combustion capacity also with 100 % curve profile that was chosen. The curve shape is
low calorific value BFG operation. The evaporator dominated by blast furnace operation availability.

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Several sensitivity analysis steps were carried out. The connections to other boilers. Both boilers K4 and new
result of modeling stage was a basic duration curve of K5 together with coke plant CDQ-boilers are all
power plant fuel rate. producing live steam for the new turbine plant. The
structure would be much more expensive and more
Optimal capacity is a function of auxiliary fuel sensitive for trips if several pressure level live steam
combustion rate and flare rate of process gases. The flows were used or all the existing boilers and high
cost function for marginal extra boiler capacity was pressure steam lines were renewed. Temperature
developed. The result, here boiler capacity, was a variation in high pressure pipes has to be minimized.
value that resulted a target pay-back time for the Therefore, historical reasons forced to use almost the
marginal capacity change. The resulted capacity value same steam parameters 535 C and 82 bar as in the
wasnt increased radically by safety margin because case of the old power plant.
existing boiler K4 is from year 1991 and has to be
renewed someday. A principle of the power plant Existing blast furnace nr:1 turbo blower machine will be
capacity optimization procedure is presented in Figure renewed also at the same time. Maintenance of current
7. Fuel rates are presented as duration curves sorted turbine unit is getting more and more challenging and
from highest to lowest value. BFG constitutes base aging of the materials is obvious in the close future.
load for boilers. COG is combusted typically during The existing blower unit itself will be still used.
rolling mill maintenance stoppages and auxiliary fuel Temperature corrosion in a blower part doesnt exist
meets total fuel power to minimum capacity of the and it is in relatively good shape. Only the drive for the
power plant during stoppages of other of the blast blower machine will be renewed. Existing turbine drive
furnaces. The lines are not scaled correctly with each will be replaced my electric motor, and type of that will
others due to real costs. Too high capacity causes be inverter driven electric motor. It allows lower energy
increased capital costs and auxiliary fuel costs because consumption and enables to use old blower part which
minimum fuel rate increases with increasing capacity. is rotation speed controlled. The steam flow into old
Auxiliary fuel cost is high compared to electricity price turbo blower will be used in the new turbine plant in
on the region. Flue gas and CO2-emissions originating electricity production. The combination will be more
from auxiliary fuel are additional. Therefore realistic efficient as a whole.
optimization is vital also in environmental point of view.
Turbine structure is presented in Figure 8. Turbine
plant steam tapping capacities are optimized for
generation of steel works process steam and district
heat rates. Turbine consists of high and low pressure
sections. Both of them are balanced due to axial forces
by reverse steam flow directions. District heat
production capacity is 40 MW and optimized tapping
point control will be used. Power plant as a part of an
integrated steel works is required to adapt to rapid load
changes. Storing capacity and pressure control of low
calorific value process gases is highly limited and
therefore rapidly controllable boiler and turbine plants is
important in minimizing of process gas flaring. Turbine
is equipped with two by-pass valves from live steam
pipe before main valve directly to sea water cooled
condenser. Capacity of by-pass valves is 60 % of
steam nominal capacity. That structure is necessary
Figure 7. A principle of capacity optimization. because only one turbine is in operation in future.

The new power plant is not a block in which boiler and

turbine plants are operated together without

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only one rotating turbine instead of three as currently

and improving technically new boiler K5 and turbine
plant performance. Process steam generation is more
efficient in a large turbine compared to the existing
ones those are nowadays not any more balanced with
the steel works steam consumption rate in the whole
operation area.

Operation of a New Power Plant

The new power plant will start continuous operation in
autumn 2016. First heating of the boiler will be carried
out by light fuel oil and process gases. Raahe LNG-
terminal is scheduled to start operation in September
2016. Old boiler K3 will be used a couple of years as
reserve boiler and turbine plant TG02 as well. Those
units will be needed for high availability of the steel
Figure 8. Turbine TG05 with high and low pressure
works and minimizing flaring during new power plant
maintenance stoppages. A reserve turbine plant is
Environmental Performance essential because one of the power plant boilers
should be in operation all the time and steam from
Heavy fuel oil will be replaced by LNG in the new boiler coking plant CDQ-boilers has to be condensed in some
K5. Air emissions will be therefore decreased during unit. Wet coke quenching will be avoided as far as
the time of blast furnace shut downs. Heavy oil possible. High out-blowing of live steam cause rapidly a
combustion in older K4 can also be changed to LNG lack of boiler water.
later by the end of 2019. The emissions in total
compared to past years will be decreased clearly. The process gas combustion ratio between operating
SSAB will start operation of a new LNG terminal in boilers can be controlled by a basis of environmental
Raahe in 2016. It will be supplied by LNG-truck emissions, fuel prices and the entire plant production
transport. A large LNG-terminal for future fuel supply efficiency. New boiler will be more efficient and steam
will be constructed in Tornio, which is about 200 km to temperature will be a bit higher compared to existing
North from Raahe. It will start operation in 2018. ones that leads in higher efficiency in turbine process
as well.
Primary measures for decreasing of NOx-emissions
are the main purpose. Burner design and FGR-system Conclusion
ensure low primary NOx-concentration in combustion
Raahen Voima Oy decided to construct a new power
chamber. The new boiler includes a selective catalytic
plant with a combination of one of the existing boilers
reduction-equipment (SCR). SCR requires sufficient
and SSABs coking plant CDQ-boilers. Drivers for the
temperature zone for optimal reaction kinetics in De-
investment were tightening air emission limit values,
NOx-unit. Therefore, a boiler bank will be assembled
decreasing availability of existing units and increasing
into the boiler between superheating section and
electricity production efficiency. All the existing turbines
will be replaced by a new turbine TG05 plant and older
Electricity production efficiency will be increased from of existing process gas boilers will be replaced by a
30,6 % to 35,2 % calculated as fictive efficiency. Fictive new green field boiler K5. Electricity generation
efficiency means the electricity generation rate without efficiency increases from 30,6 % to 35,2 % calculated
any distribution of process steam but with negative as fictive efficiency.
effect of annual district heat production. The efficiency
Steam parameters were limited by other process units
improvement is caused by centralizing the live steam to
of an integrated steel works. The power plant lay-out

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will not be block-type in future either. All the process gas recirculation system and SCR-unit. Flue gas
gas and CDQ-boilers will be connected to the common circulation enables also boiler adaption to different fuel
turbine plant. Temperature and temperature variation of characteristics, lowers minimum operation fuel rate with
live steam pipe lines has to be on a range of old part high calorific value auxiliary fuel and decreases thermal
design parameters. Capacity optimization is a very NOx-formation.
challenging task because overcapacity causes extra
capital costs and minimum operation point is also Abbreviations
higher causing increased auxiliary fuel costs. Anyhow, BFG blast furnace bas
minimizing of flaring rate is highly important as well. COG coke oven gas
Developed specific method for optimizing the boiler FGR flue gas recirculation
capacity was used. Boiler nominal capacity can be SCR selective catalytic reduction
reached also by low calorific value blast furnace gas. CDQ coke dry quenching
LPG liquefied petroleum gas (here propane)
Requirements of tightening air emission limit values are LPG liquefied natural gas
tackled by changing auxiliary fuel heavy oil to LNG and tHM tons of hot metal
by equipping the new boiler with low-NOX burners, flue

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