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SMIC reaches nominal design capacity following undergoing PGT

Mobarakeh Steel Company’s Sangan Mining Industries Co. (SMIC) reached its nominal design capacity on January 23, 2018 by successfully undergoing the Performance Guarantee Test (PGT) and producing 16,200 tons of pellets on a daily basis, paving the way for the company to raise its annual nominal capacity to 5 million tons of pellets. 
This is the first pelletizing plant in the country which has managed to reach its nominal design capacity in less than four months while complying with all qualitative and quantitative parameters of production.
Mohsen Mir-Mohammadi, the company’s managing director, further said since the launch of SMIC, its production of pellets has exceeded 600,000 tons.
In a meeting to review and control PGT reports on the 5-million-ton pelletizing plant, Mir-Mohammadi congratulated MSC and its subsidiaries on this achievement and thanked the company’s staffers, consultants and contractors.
He went on to say that these achievements prove that the project has been implemented in a satisfactory fashion. This is the first time in the country that a pelletizing plant has managed to reach the nominal design capacity in less than four months while complying with all qualitative and quantitative parameters of production.
New product on par with its global rivals 
Ali Shamsinia, who is in charge of the operations at Sangan Mining Industries Co., for his part, appreciated the efforts of the company’s managers, staff members, contractors and consultants and elaborated on the way the PGT is done. “PGT is a process through which the performance of equipment in the plant is tested. A successful PGT process ensures that the equipment installed in the plant – in case the stage is favorably set – is capable of producing based on the nominal capacity. Then the equipment designed for the production line is temporarily handed over to the company to become operational, and later the project’s contractor is given one year to identify and remove the potential, partial defects of the equipment.”   
He further said that the average production volume at Sangan Mining Industries Co. exceeded the nominal capacity in a five-day period (January 18 – 23, 2018) when the Performance Guarantee Test was being done. During this period, the capabilities of the equipment were found satisfactory in terms of both quality and quantity. “Thanks to the boosted technical knowhow and improvement of workforce performance as well as the support lent by Mobarakeh Steel Group, the company’s annual production plan and its achievement of the nominal capacity are expected to materialize. That would mainly meet Mobarakeh Steel Group’s need for raw materials.”     
During the test, gas, electricity and water consumption was within the standards set for the test and better than global benchmarking, he said, adding, “In this process we met environmental requirements, especially implementation of safety guidelines, and undertook the company’s social responsibility.”
Shamsinia said that when the test was being conducted the product’s quality indexes were satisfactory and on a par with its global rivals.  
Quality indexes of pellets acceptable 93%
The head of technology department at Sangan Mining Industries Co. said that thanks to the preparations made in the company the Performance Guarantee Test was implemented – in a safely manner – according to plan and after coordination with contractors, consultants and executive teams. All main PGT steps and the required procedural evidence were documented by taking photos from more than 10 fixed control points in the process and constantly controlling the equipment’s sensitive parameters. Based on the contract’s requirements, over 350 samples were tested in this period. The test results were released online and fed into the control room where an online mechanized system was in place and the urgent tests were conducted. As for the qualitative results, they were fully documented in daily meetings held to present reports and in the form of test documents. Fortunately, the qualitative results were acceptable.    
Davoud Forutan further said that the current quality indexes of the pellets produced in the company feature iron oxide (0.2%), sulfur (0.002%), compressive strength (280 kg/pellet), and size (between 9 and 16 mm), which is about 93 percent acceptable.   
The temporary delivery of pelletizing plant to the operator is predicted to come as members of staff receive the needed training in the form of transferring technical knowhow from Mobarakeh Steel Company, and as most of managerial systems (IS-Suite, workflows and guidelines) are shortly handed over to the operator in cooperation with the International Systems Engineering & Automation Company (IRISA) and Mobarakeh Steel Engineering Company. 
Thanks to the managing director’s emphasis and in order to consolidate the production conditions, the company is running projects such as supplying spare parts and support equipment, and constructing a repairs shop, he said. “God willing, we will see the company’s products grow constantly in terms of both, quality and quantity.”
50% growth in transfer of pellets as company successfully conducts PGT   
The head of the financial and economic department in Sangan Mining Industries Co. said to achieve organizational objectives, the company needs to have planning and make preparations for handling what is to be done accurately.
Bahmanzadeh further said, “In cooperation with other departments in the company and in keeping with efforts to materialize the PGT plan, this department tapped into all commercial and financial potential such as timely supply of the necessary materials and items, purchase of the needed contracting services, and managing and supporting financial resources on a timely fashion.”
To send pellets produced in Sangan Mining Industries Co. to Mobarakeh Steel Group, he said, the company should use the potential of road transfer and rail transportation. “In light of the fact that the construction of the company’s rail station is underway, we’ve concentrated all our efforts on launching multimodal transport at Ehya-e Sepahan Station, located 5 km away from the company. In the 30 day to January 20, 2018, the overall volume of pellets transferred posted a 50 percent increase to stand at 122,000 tons from the previous 80,000 tons per month. In other words, the average daily cargo transfer climbed to 4,000 tons from 2,600 tons.    
“On the back of this achievement, the daily pellet loading record via rail reached 7,800 tons, with the overall pellets sent since the launch of the plant up to January 20, 2018 hitting the 345,000 ton mark,” he said, adding the company has pursued efforts to supply the needed concentrates so that the production process is not marred by defects.    
Successful implementation of PGT indebted to MSC, Sangan management, staff
Manager of MSC’s Steel Making Unit Rahim Abdi has said that the implementation of PGT needs special conditions to be met. 
He further said most of the plants work in nominal conditions for between six months and one year before conditions are met and indexes such as pressure, temperature, and production volume are controlled all along the production process. At the end of the day, the test will reveal whether the equipment and mechanisms employed in the plant perform well or poorly in practice. There were devices which have been used for two or three years but failed to pass the PGT.
The official went on to say, “Thanks to MSC’s support and valuable efforts of managers and staff members of Sangan Mining Industries Co., we managed to make this big achievement. One week prior to the PGT operations, the company’s concentrate depots got ready for the test, and in a five-day period we could successfully produce more than 16,000 tons of pellets.”
Past experiences instrumental in PGT
Namatollah Abbasi, the head of the Iron Making Unit’s technical office at Mobarakeh Steel Company, said, “To prepare the necessary prerequisites for conducting the Performance Guarantee Test, a comprehensive review was carried out and an agreement was made to handle material transportation, electricity and water supply, prepare the equipment, do lab tests and study the way coordination meetings should be held, and to remove the problems associated with the necessary reports.”  
In light of the previous experiences which had a key role in this achievement, he said, the following measures were taken in the pelletizing process: increasing the tonnage of pellets, gradually changing the input materials, setting the production timetable, equipment and procedural conditions, formulating the index registration forms, both manual and software-based, and orienting the personnel whose job has to do with these forms. Fortunately, the test process was carried out in conformity with contractual features.         

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