Ljubljana/Brdo pri Kranju, Wedensday, 21 September 2016 – The SIJ Group continues to firmly remain at the edge of Slovenian innovation as the recipient of a gold award

Ljubljana/Brdo pri Kranju, Wedensday, 21 September 2016 – The SIJ Group continues to firmly remain at the edge of Slovenian innovation as the recipient of a gold award

The SIJ Group, with its innovative projects was once again recognized, and remains firmly at the peak of Slovenian innovation; the SIJ Acroni/Research center Jesenice (RCJ) gold award recipient for non-acidic cleaning of hot and cold rolled steel strips. The best Slovenian innovators were awarded today on Innovation Day in Brdo pri Kranju by the Slovenian Chamber of Commerce (GZS). The silver award was awarded for innovation in forging and heat treatment of large pieces of steel at SIJ Metal Ravne, and the bronze recipient went to the SIJ Metal Ravne in cooperation with Petrol Energetika for harnessing of waste heat for district heating.

At today's Innovation Day, the Slovenian Chamber of Commerce awarded The SIJ Group the national gold award for innovation in SIJ Acroni. The innovative achievements of the Group were rounded out by the silver and bronze awards in innovation awarded to SIJ Metal Ravne and SIJ Metal Ravne in cooperation with Petrol Energetika. The SIJ Group is staying firmly at the top of the Slovenian peak of innovation.

Three of SIJ Group's innovations were ranked at the national level of the competition, and the judges were most convinced by the innovation in 'Non-acidic cleaning of hot and cold rolled steel strips,' developed by SIJ Acron and RCJ. "The old process of sanding of strips of steel have been replaced with an innovative procedure of non-acidic cleaning of strips, which enables higher productivity, lower operating costs, better quality of the end-product, a much lower environmental impact, and improved work safety. An innovation with this many improvements belongs in the category of 'one in a thousand'," remarked the director of development at SIJ Acroni, dr. Matevž Fazarinc.

SIJ Metal Ravne's silver award for the innovation in 'Forging and heat treatment of large pieces of percipitation hardened stainless steel,' or, in other words, a new forging and heat treatment technology has enriched a large SIJ Metal Ravne investment in a vaccum oxygen decarburization (VOD) plant for the production of steel with a low carbon and high chromium content. In addition to lowering the cost of the product, the innovation will also enable SIJ Metal Ravne to enter a new market segment.

With their innovative and already award-winning approach to energy transition into the circular economy, SIJ Metal Ravne and Petrol Energetika won the bronze medal. The innovation 'Harnessing of

waste heat in metallurgical processes for the purposes of district heating and the preparation of sanitary hot water in Ravne na Koroškem,' is a comprehensive energy solution that utilizes waste heat generated by metallurgical processes.

"Long standing successes in innovation of SIJ's researchers at the national level are the result of intensive investing into the deepening cooperation of more than a hundred of SIJ's experts – researchers and industrial technologists – in three developent departments of the SIJ Group," said the SIJ Group's CEO Anton Chernykh. In addition, the SIJ Group is seeking out cooperation with other research and academic institutions, and in 2015 this effort was improved through the establishment of a competence center Innovative Metal Materials, which, in addition to the companies of the SIJ Group, connected with the Institute of Metal Materials and Technology and the Faculty of Natural Sciences. "We believe that professional networking, both within the SIJ Group as well as outside of it is the winning strategy that ensures a continuing effort for better solutions and the development of new products. With simultaneous adaptation and modernization of technology we can ensure real solutions and a quick response to changing market demands, and that is why we have earned the trust of 80 companies from around the world," said Anton Chernykh.


The SIJ Group is the largest Slovenian vertically integrated metallurgical group and as such occupies a leading position in niche steel markets in Europe and worldwide. Apart from its core, metallurgic industry, the Group also operates in food industry (an investment into Perutnina Ptuj), and has 7,000 employees in Slovenia and abroad. In the first half of the year 2016 the Group recorded revenues of 413.9 million euros. The Group’s operating profit before depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) reached 60.1 million euros and its operating profit reached 24.6 million euros. The Group sells its products in more than 80 markets all over the world, which makes it one of the greatest Slovenian exporters.
Further information:
Dr. Denis Mancevič, Director for Corporate Communications  
Email: denis.mancevic@sij.si