Trinecké Železárny will spend more than 600 million Czech koruna ($27.88 million) to revamp its blast furnace No6 at its Trinec steelmaking facility in the Moravian-Silesian region in the northeast of the Czech Republic.

The upgrade works are scheduled to start in the second half of August 2021 and are expected to last about 70 days, the steelmaker said on Tuesday February 2. 

“[The upgrade] will allow for an energy consumption reduction, which will reduce CO2 emissions,” said Trinecké Železárny's investment director Radek Olszar.

The two blast furnaces have a combined capacity of about 3.2 million tpy of pig iron.

Cutting carbon emissions cut has become a key priority for European Union steelmakers in recent years, with the cost of CO2 emissions allowances gradually rising under the EU's Emissions Trading Scheme.

The overhaul is just part of Trinecké Železárny's 1.6 billion Czech koruna investment package planned for 2021.

The company also plans to upgrade its 1 million tpy steel ingot continuous casting machine (CCM) this year to expand its product range to make 600mm diameter remelting ingots.

“The diameter of 600mm is mainly required by component manufacturers for the energy industry, most often for wind turbines. Our strategy is to increase the share of products in ecological fields that contribute to our carbon footprint reduction. That is why we have decided to continue to expand the production capacity of higher diameter castings,” chief executive Jan Czudek said.

The costs of the CCM upgrade will not exceed 300 million Czech koruna, the company said. 

Last year, the company has invested 1.4 billion Czech koruna in its operations, including the installation of de-dusting equipment at its sinter plant and upgraded a tube-rolling mill.

Trinecké Železárny is Czech Republic’s largest steelmaker, with the capacity to produce about 2.8 million tpy of crude steel. It specializes in production of wire rod, rebar, light and heavy sections, hot-rolled plate and steel tubes.

There is no data yet for 2020, but in 2019, the company produced 2.51 million tonnes of steel, down 3% on the 2.58 million tonnes produced in 2018.