OREANDA-NEWS. NLMK Group (LSE: NLMK), the largest steel producer in Russia and one of the most efficient steel companies in the world, has launched a new strip straightening machine at its Novolipetsk site to improve the surface quality of uncoated cold-rolled steel.

The straightening machine improves the geometric parameters of the product by eliminating irregularities at the edges and in the middle of the strip, enabling NLMK to guarantee a precise specification of uncoated cold-rolled steel offered to customers.

Sergey Filatov, Novolipetsk Managing Director, said:

“These products are currently in demand by white goods manufacturers for the production of refrigerators and washing machines; and automotive and chemical machine-building companies that have strict requirements when it comes to steel surface quality. This new project will allow NLMK to offer high-quality products to its key customers and strengthen its positions in high-margin markets, including through import replacement.”

Previously, Novolipetsk flattened cold-rolled steel only for onward processing at the continuous hot-dip galvanizing lines.

The new stretch bending straightening machine has a production capacity of 250,000 tonnes per year. Investment totaled approximately 460 million rubles.

In 2014, Novolipetsk produced 1.5 million tonnes of cold-rolled steel. NLMK Group accounts for 24% of the Russian cold-rolled market. Cold-rolled steel is widely used in the production of machine body parts. Manufacturers of machinery and equipment are traditionally the key consumers of NLMK products. NLMK pursues projects aimed at improving product and level of service for these customers. For instance, Novolipetsk is working to replace its bell-type furnaces that thermally treat steel after cold rolling, which will further improve the quality of surface finish.

NLMK Group is the largest steelmaker in Russia and one of the most efficient in the world. NLMK’s metal products are used in various industries, from construction and engineering to the manufacture of power-generating equipment and offshore wind turbines.

NLMK's production assets are located in Russia, Europe, and the United States. The Company’s liquid steel production capacity is over 17 million tonnes per year, of which about 16 million tonnes are produced in Russia.

NLMK has the most competitive cash cost among global manufacturers; and one of the highest profitability levels in the sector. The company generated $6.37 billion in revenue; $1.63 billion in EBITDA; and a net profit of $891 million in 9M 2015. Net Debt/EBITDA is 0.5.

NLMK’s ordinary shares are traded on the Moscow Stock Exchange (ticker symbol: NLMK), and its global depositary shares are traded on the London Stock Exchange (ticker symbol: NLMK:LI). The company has a BBB- credit rating from Fitch.