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Forgemasters expands its grip on Russian market with Power Machines contracts

26 October 2009

Sheffield Forgemasters has expanded its grip on the growing Russian export market with its first orders for power generation giant, OJSC Power Machines.

The contracts, for hydroelectric and fossil fuel power generation components, add to Forgemasters' impressive export status. It is currently the world's largest supplier of steel rolls to the former Soviet Union's steel plate manufacturing industry.

The company will manufacture four forged turbine rotors for use in super-criticalfossil fuel power generation plantsand also two cast hydro crowns for the Zagorskaya pump storage power plant to the North East of Moscow.

The multi-million GBP orders for OJSC Power Machines are scheduled for completion in November 2009.

David Bunney, general sales manager at Forgemasters' Engineering division, said: "We are delighted to achieve significant growth in our high chromium turbine product range with this contract.  The forgings for OJSC Power Machines are highly technical in terms of metallurgical composition, using 10% Chromium steel.

"The orders for OJSC Power Machines are important to Sheffield Forgemasters, not just because of our Russian market links, but because the components we are manufacturing can service a much wider marketplace.

"This demonstrates that we are manufacturing components for the new generation offossil fuel power generation, capable of withstanding the highest operating stresses."

The forgings weigh in at 13 and 17 tonnes respectively for high andintermediate pressure use, while the Zagorskaya cast turbine crowns will weigh 40 tonnes each.

Turbine rotors are steel shafts, to which the turbine blades are fixed, and which rotate at extremely high speeds. This rotation powers a generator to produce electricity. The turbine is driven by steam and in this application the inlet temperature is much higher than in standard turbines, so being more fuel efficient.

The 6.3m diameter Zagorskaya hydro crowns are critical components contained within rotating runners, which the water acts upon in a hydro-power plant, forming one end of the runner with vanes attached to create a hydro ‘propeller' to then drive a rotor.

Graham Honeyman, chief executive at Sheffield Forgemasters, said: "Russia is one of the most important export markets in the world right now. We have built extremely good links with many industries across the country and see power generation as a potentially high growth sector.

"These contracts give us an opportunity to build closer ties with OJSC Power Machines and to demonstrate our capability in this type of manufacture.

"Forgemasters' pedigree in manufacturing high quality components for hydro, fossil fuel, thermal and nuclear power generation is widely recognised and the reliability that our products carry is invaluable to fast developing economies like Russia, which are facing high domestic energy demands to match economic growth."

Sheffield Forgemasters recently hosted a prestigious international manufacturing conference in Russia's former capital, St Petersburg, which included a presentation from the country's largest steel company, Severstal, outlining its importance as a supplier to the Russian market.

The conference also featured presentations on Forgemasters' technical capabilities, which lead the field in steel production and large-scale engineering to meet increasingly complicated manufacturing demands.

OJSC Power Machines is one of Russia's foremost power generation companies, headquartered in St Petersburg .