The new company of SŽ Acroni was founded on 23rd December, 1992, after Jesenice Steelworks was divided into several smaller companies.
Steelmaking in Jesenice started long before 1992. On this territory. In this region ironmaking was already developed in the 14th century. In the 19th century, small ironworks amalgamated to establish Kranjska industrijska družba – KID (the Carniolan Industrial Company).
In 1872, Lambert von Pantz, the first director of KID, succeeded in producing ferromanganese in a blast furnace. His invention represented a revolutionary innovation given the level of metallurgical knowledge of the time, and it brought Pantz, as well as the Javornik Ironworks, worldwide fame.
After 1960 Jesenice Steelworks developed quickly. Following our investments in new production facilities we have joined the leading steel producers of the world.
Acroni received the first Quality Certificate for the Production of Steel and Steel Products.
The construction of a new crucible furnace was completed.
The modernization of the hot-rolling mill was begun by the exchange of the process control systems for the end-pusher furnace, the blooming mill and the Steckel-mill. Major sections of the mechanical equipment in the Steckel-mill were also replaced.
Investments in new leaching baths for stainless sheet steels (the first in 1996, the second in 1997) brought about a renewed increase in not only the production of heavy plates, but also in the whole company.
Our sales volume exceeded the amount of 200,000 tonnes for the first time.
We introduced the ISO 14001 environmental standard, and also received the ISO 9001:2000 certificate. We began investment into the reconstruction of the de-dusting equipment in the steel production plant.
Acroni Deutschland and Acroni Italy were established.
By the end of the year the new furnace transformer was started up and the capacity of the de-dusting equipment in the steel production plant was increased by an additional ventilator.
In December we celebrated the 10th anniversary of Acroni and on that occasion we were granted the ISO 14001 certificate for environmental practice.
There were 33 investments being worked on, of which two would have a crucial impact on the increase in our production output and in the quality of our products: the line for the final annealing of finished electrical steel sheets (CRNO), and the new vacuum oxidizing and degassing (VOD) device. A contract for the third strategic investment in the modernization of the hot-rolling mill was signed.
We started the ecological project ‘Reduced Consumption of Cooling Water’. The project ‘Reconstruction of the Anti-Noise Chamber’ was completed. The modernization of the vacuum plant was concluded.
We completed an investment in the new main motors for the blooming mill.
We received recognition as the most energy efficient company for our efforts in reducing energy consumption.
We received Gold recognition of ’GZS’ for VOD modernization.
Key investments were in dust abatement equipment in the steelworks, a 110 kV transformer, a system upgrade to Level 2 for the second level of management for rolling thick plates, and two ecological investments:
- The reconstruction of the storage for lubricants and hazardous substances,
- The establishment of a rising line for rising plates after pickling treatment.
We invested EUR 22.5 million in investments which have an environmental impact, the effect of an increase in production capacity and elimination of production bottlenecks, and for maintenance investments. We are particularly proud of our investments which were completed in 2007:
- Waste water treatment plant – the start of the testing period
- Pusher furnace reconstruction with unloading device
- Replacement of obsolete roller furnaces for heat treatment of thick plates by a new modern roller heart furnace for the treatment of high- and wear-resistant plates;
- New cover stock for scrap and raw materials.
We successfully completed the following major investments:
1. Steel mill - a second scrap basket with a weighing unit which allows more efficient loading in the furnace ; we also improved and optimized work with the cranes, effectively reducing the T/T time.
2. Hot-rolling mills - beginning the operation of a modern waste water treatment plant, where the cooling water from the hot rolling mill is captured in a new closed circuit, technology and chemical managed, and fully returned back into the process, resulting in a drastic reduction in the consumption of cooling water
3. Cold rolling mill - modernization of the temper mill; this is an ecological investment, where roller cleaning with prohibited white spirit is replaced by a system of dry cleaning. We also made some minor updates in equipment to improve the quality of the tempered material.
4. Heavy plate department:
- Launch of two plasma cutters, which allow a precise cut of the edges and provide adequate capacity for thicker quarto plates
- Electricity upgrades in the heavy plate department, which provides appropriate strength and transfers electric power for new investment, to be implemented in 2009.
We successfully concluded three strategic projects:
- the modernization of the continuous slab casting machine in the still mill ;
- a new transport line in the rolling mill at Acroni ;
- a side-trimming and cut-to-length line for plates.
These projects represented 89% of the entire investment fund – EUR 44.84 million. The investments enabled a dramatic improvement in quality as well as quantity, and allowed us to produce new materials.
Investments in Acroni are carried out as part of our successfully implemented and upgraded development strategy. We are developing strategies to increase production and the market share of niche products, referring to stainless steel heavy plates and special steels. At the same time we are trying to keep our operations and production competitive. In 2010 we continued our investment activities. The turning points were:
- a contract, signed in April 2010, for a new plate mill, the biggest investment of the company;
- a contract, signed in May 2010, for pickling bath no. 3 together with a spiral drying line;
- the opening of a new transport line for heavy plates in June.
An environmental achievement came in May 2010, when we received the environmental license IPPC (Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control). The objective of an integrated approach to pollution control is to prevent emissions into air, water or soil wherever this is practicable, taking into account waste management, and, where it is not, to minimize them in order to achieve a high level of protection for the environment as a whole.
2011 ended by finalizing our key strategic investments of recent years. At the same time we continued to invest in strategically important equipment, which will enable us to significantly improve quantity and quality. Our major strategic investments were:
- the transport of stainless steel quarto plates;
- the introduction of pickling bath no. 3 with a spiral drying line in January;
- the introduction of furnace no. 3 on the Wellman line for heat processing in the Quarto Plate Processing Plant;
- the successful conclusion of phase 1 of the new rolling mill project.
2012 ended in a spirit of triumph due to the completion of our most important strategic investment of recent years, the replacement of a nearly fifty-year-old plate mill in the hot rolling mill. At the same time we continued to invest in strategically important equipment, particularly in the expansion of production in the Quarto Plate Processing Plant to a width of 2.5m, which will enable us to significantly improve the quantity and quality of these products and to manufacture them in additional dimensions. We signed a contract for a fourth chamber annealing furnace, and also won a Silver award for innovation at the national level from GZS as well as an award at the Slovenian Innovation Forum.
The first plate from the new plate mill has been rolled. This was an important investment, which enables us to manufacture new products – we are now able to offer plates of 2500 mm width, as well as increasing capacity (max. theoretical capacity 800,000 tonnes yearly) and enabling improvement in the final product quality. We successfully completed an important investment in furnace nr. 4 on the Wellman line for heat processing. Besides these strategic investments we also acquired an AEO certificate, thereby achieving Authorized Economic Operator status.
In 2014 two bigger investments were put into operation – a new heat treatment furnace in April, and cogeneration of energy, of which the first part was made in November.
At the end of the year we began using the new EBS system, Oracle .