Southern Urals Nickel Plant

Southern Urals Nickel Plant

History

Soviet heavy industry commissariat decides to construct a nickel plant in Orsk.
1935
Southern Urals Nickel Plant produces its first matte.
1938
The plant produces 3,265 tonnes of nickel.
1940
Construction of an electrolysis shop begins based on the Severonickel plant evacuated to Orsk due to World War II. Soyuznikelolovoproject state company launches a planning subsidiary to employ specialists evacuated from Leningrad.
1941
The electrolysis shop is launched.
1942
Accelerated smelting technology implemented at the mine furnaces, boosting smelting by 1.6 times and dramatically cutting consumption of coke, very expensive and rare at the time due to Nazi occupation of Donbass coal mines. The plant’s experts who developed and implemented the technology were granted state awards.
1943
Southern Urals Nickel Plant was the chief nickel and cobalt supplier for defense needs, since the Soviet Union could no longer import nickel from Canada, while the main Soviet domestic nickel producer, Severonickel, was evacuated. Nickel mines at Norilsk were only launching production, while capacities at Ufalei and Rezh plants were insignificant.
1941-1945
The plant managed to boost production of nickel by 1.7 times, cobalt by 6 times, and nickel sulfate by 7.5 times without any significant territorial expansion or investment.
1945–1957
The plant mastered production of copper vitriol from the electrolysis shop’s waste. Extracting cobalt from liquid converter slag by mixing it with matte allowed the plant to dramatically increase cobalt production.
1957
The Soviet government decides to reconstruct and enlarge Southern Urals Nickel Plant.
1955
A new powerful treatment facility with state-of-the-art automated equipment.
1964
Thanks to high operational results, the plant wins prestigious government awards.
1967
Due to the transition period’s negative impact, nickel production plummets to a minimum.
1998
Mechel OAO acquires the plant, whose nickel produce was shipped to Chelyabinsk Metallurgical Plant. Southern Urals Nickel Plant is revamped, in a bid to create profitable operations and ensure its products being up to competition both in quality and in price.
2001
Southern Urals Nickel Plant signs the basic project of a prototype production complex.
2009
A 12-MW electric furnace is due to be launched, which will allow the plant to master the new technology of producing granulated ferronickel bypassing shaft-furnaces which are the primary source of sulphur dioxide emissions.

The second stage will see construction of two 45-MW electric furnaces, with one 90-MW electric furnace to be installed at the third stage. This technology of producing ferronickel in electric furnaces of constant current has no analogies in the world.
2011