Indiana steel mill reuses a half million gallons of water and eliminates 2,050 tons of waste annually with GE technology

Nov. 9, 2016
Portage, Ind., steel mill saves $210,000 annually
Handling at NLMK Indiana. Photo: NLMK Group.
TREVOSE, PA, NOVEMBER 9, 2016 -- Faced with the environmental challenge of how to dispose of sludge, Indiana steel producer NLMK turned to GE's advanced water treatment technologies and innovative solutions to dewater sludge from the spray water system thickener. After a year of implementation, the mill eliminated 2,050 tons of waste and reused 500,000 gallons of water as make up to other cooling systems.

GE recently honored NLMK with the Return on Environment (ROE) award to recognize the company for its noteworthy reductions in water usage and waste as well as its positive environmental impact and cost savings of $210,000 annually derived primarily from reduced sludge hauling and disposal costs.

"GE's advanced water treatment technology allowed us to not only meet, but actually exceed our environmental goals and operational demands. We are thrilled to be honored with a GE ROE award, and we thank GE for recognizing us and our facility," said H.B. Kincaid, director of operations, NLMK Indiana. "GE worked with us to develop, test and implement an effective process to reuse water, reduce waste and cut costs."

Previously, the wet sludge was collected in a silo and periodically hauled off-site. The idea was to take this sludge and process it using a rotary vacuum filter that is coated with a layer of diatomaceous earth. As the filter rotates, it draws a layer of sludge that is subsequently dried before being scraped off and deposited into a container. Because most of the water has been removed from the sludge, the volume and weight of sludge disposed is greatly reduced resulting in disposal cost savings.

Strategically located in the Port of Indiana on the shores of Lake Michigan, NLMK's Portage, Indiana, steel mill produces high-quality liquid steel in an electric furnace and hot rolls the continuously cast slabs on a modernized 65-inch hot strip mill capable of producing 1.2 million tons of finished product. The facility is a prime supplier of hot rolled, hot-rolled pickled and oiled, hot-rolled coiled plate and carbon/alloy specialty products.

The ROE award is a prestigious award honoring a significant environmental (water, energy, resource) accomplishment. During the ROE three-tier selection process, GE examined set goals as well as the achieved environmental, operational and financial benefits, ultimately recognizing NLMK and its water and waste savings for significantly surpassing and improving environmental and industrial operational goals while balancing industrial demands.

"This project underscores the substantial environmental and economic benefits that industrial companies, including steel manufacturers, can achieve when they make an investment in water reuse and waste reduction technologies," said Amy Ericson, global leader, chemical monitoring solutions -- water and process technologies for GE Power. "Water usage in the steel industry is considerable, and implementing water recycling strategies can reduce resources and environmental impact."

About NLMK Group
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 manufacturing of power-generating equipment and offshore wind turbines. NLMK's production assets are located in Russia, Europe and the United States. The company’s steel production capacity exceeds 17 million tons per year of which about 16 million tons are produced in Russia. For more information on NLMK Group, please visit

About GE
GE (NYSE: GE) is the world’s Digital Industrial Company, transforming industry with software-defined machines and solutions that are connected, responsive and predictive. GE is organized around a global exchange of knowledge, the "GE Store," through which each business shares and accesses the same technology, markets, structure and intellect. Each invention further fuels innovation and application across our industrial sectors. With people, services, technology and scale, GE delivers better outcomes for customers by speaking the language of industry.

About GE Power
GE Power is a world leader in power generation with deep domain expertise to help customers deliver electricity from a wide spectrum of fuel sources. We are transforming the electricity industry with the digital power plant, the world’s largest and most efficient gas turbine, full balance of plant, upgrade and service solutions as well as our data-leveraging software. Our innovative technologies and digital offerings help make power more affordable, reliable, accessible and sustainable. For more information, visit the company's website at

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