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GPH Ispat Limited exports $50m billet to China

bluesky

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GPH exports $50m billet to China
NAZIMUDDIN SHYAMOL | Published: June 07, 2021 10:15:46

GPH exports $50m billet to China



CHATTOGRAM: The GPH Ispat Limited exported its fourth shipment of prime quality steel billet to China's main port known as Jiangyin/Xiamen port on May 6 last. The first shipment was made from the Chittagong port in November last year. The GPH made a total of four shipments of billets worth more than 50 million US dollars so far.

Chairman and Managing Director Mohammed Jahangir Alam said, "It is the first time billet export is made in bulk cargo from Bangladesh. We posted the record export of billet in 2008 -- 2,500 MT only -- and also initiated rod and billet export to India in the year of 2010-11."

"This time we are in the phase of biggest shipment in the history of Bangladesh in terms of value. If policy support from the Government is received like other export sectors, we would continue in future. This will become a new avenue in export sector," he said.

He also said, "If the government offers stimulus for the GPH, we can increase our export."
Additional Managing Director Mohammad Almas Shimul said, "Now we have more than one million tonnes of production capacity at our plant. Power consumption is more than 50 per cent lower than induction furnace and 30 per cent lower than traditional EAF. We have no gas-based reheating furnace used in the rolling process. Ensuring the highest quality, the mill is able to produce up to class 3 grade products which ensure up to 790 MPA by quenching and class 4 grade products which ensure maximum 980 MPA by micro alloying."

He also urged the government for stimulus to aid export of billet and thus help increase the production of GPH.

nazim07@yahoo.com
 

Bilal9

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Billet export is fine, but what is China making with these billets?

How are they adding value? What is the final product and how much more expensive is it compared to the local processing and value added?

Could we add value at home for us, using machining/forming/extrusion (for our own use) instead of exporting low value billet for others to add value?

This is similar to Pakistan exporting cotton to other countries. They are missing a chance to add value by further processing.

Huge wasted opportunity for us by exporting billets when we could do more value-addition at home.

Here are some examples of steel billet value addition. Making railroad rail, steel structural beams, flat iron "tin" roofing sheets and making spiral welded and seamless tubes are only a few examples.

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Shapes
These are long products with irregular cross sections, such as beams, channels, angles, and rails. Rolling starts with blooms that may be 150 millimetres by 200 millimetres by 5 metres long. The blooms are received, either cold or hot, directly from the blooming mill or continuous caster. They are charged into a pusher or walking-beam continuous furnace and heated for up to three hours to 1,200° C. (Sometimes, three batch-type furnaces are used instead.)

Most shapes are formed by grooved rolls with mating projections that form together a window in their gap. This window becomes progressively smaller and more like the desired shape, pass after pass, until at the end, in the final pass, the specified cross section is obtained. D in the figure shows only 5 progressive passes out of about 11 in the rolling of a rail. Rolling shapes usually takes a total of 9 to 15 passes, with an area reduction of about 25 percent at the initial passes and only 7 percent at the last pass.

The rolling of structural shapes.

The rolling of structural shapes.
Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.
Roll and pass design is critical for this rolling technology. There are usually three to five stands arranged in various ways, each taking one to five passes. Only one pass is made through the finishing stand, which controls the final dimension and surface. Sometimes two-high reversing mills are used at the beginning in a fashion similar to blooming mills, with manipulators on run-out roller tables. In other cases, two or three three-high, nonreversing stands are arranged as an open train; in this arrangement, lifting roller tables move the workpiece between the upper and lower pass lines, and the workpiece is in only one roll gap at a time. Mills that produce medium and small shapes often have stands in tandem arrangement, rolling one workpiece simultaneously in several stands and using a controlled loop between stands. Wide-flange I-beams and H-pilings are usually rolled on universal mills using vertical edgers, as indicated in E in the figure. Blooms with a dog-bone cross section are often supplied to these structural-shape mills by beam-blank continuous casters.

Rolling temperatures are carefully controlled for metallurgical reasons. Heavy-walled, wide-flange I-beams are sometimes heat-treated in-line by computer-controlled water quenching and by tempering with their own retained heat. The heads of rails are often heat-treated in-line to improve wear and impact resistance. Rails are also slow-cooled under an insulated cover, directly after rolling, for at least 10 hours to diffuse hydrogen out of the steel.

After rolling, a hot saw cuts the shapes into lengths that can be handled by the cooling bed. Each shop conducts large-size finishing operations such as straightening, cold-cutting to ordered length, marking, and inspection.

Tubes
Tubular products are manufactured according to two basic technologies. One is the welding of tubes from strip, and the other is the production of seamless tube from rounds or blooms.

Welded tubes
The most widely used welding system, the electric-resistance welding (ERW) line, starts with a descaled hot-rolled strip that is first slit into coils of a specific width to fit a desired tube diameter. In the entry section is an uncoiler, a welder that joins the ends of coils for continuous operation, and a looping pit, which permits constant welding rates of, typically, three metres per minute. Several consecutive forming rolls then shape the strip into a tube with a longitudinal seam on top, as shown schematically in A in the figure. Two squeeze rolls press the seam together, while two electrode rolls or sliding contacts feed the electric power to the seam for resistance heating and welding. A cutting tool removes the flash created during welding, and, after a preliminary inspection, the tube is cut into cooling-bed length by a saw that moves with the tube.

Production of welded tubes.
Production of welded tubes.
Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.
Tubes up to 500 millimetres in diameter with walls 10 millimetres thick are produced on ERW lines. Larger-diameter pipes are often produced by forming the strip into an endless spiral, as shown schematically in B in the figure. Forming is followed by continuous welding of the seam, often by automatic arc welding. Pipes up to 1.5 metres in diameter and with a 12-millimetre wall thickness are sometimes produced by this spiral welding process. Still larger pipes are produced from plates by a U-ing and O-ing process, which applies heavy presses to form plates into a U and then an O. The longitudinal seam (or seams) are then welded by automatic arc-welding equipment.

Seamless tubes
Seamless tube rolling always begins by piercing a round or bloom to generate a hollow. In roll piercing, an oval round is preheated to about 1,200° C and is cross-rolled slowly between two short, large-diameter rolls that rotate in the same direction (shown schematically in C in the figure). The round also revolves and is pulled into the roll gap in a spiraling motion, because the rolls have a converging-diverging shape and are installed relative to each other at an angle of about 20°.

This revolving, continuous plastic working of an oval cross section between the two rolls creates tensile stresses in the long axes of the oval, which rupture the centre and create a cavity. At this point the cavity meets the piercer, which is a projectile-shaped rotating cone held in place by a bar and a thrust bearing. The piercer acts like a third roll in the centre and produces the inside of the tube.

Production of seamless tubes.

Production of seamless tubes.
Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.
The cross or helical rolling action of roll piercing demands excellent hot formability of the prerolled round. Another process, push piercing, does not have such exacting requirements. This usually takes continuously cast square blooms and forms them into hollow rounds by the action of a heavy hydraulic pusher, which pushes them into the gap of two large-diameter contoured rolls that form together a circular pass line. In the roll gap the bloom is met by a heavy piercer, which forms the hollow, as shown in D in the figure. This mill can form a 250-millimetre-square, 3-metre-long bloom into a tube with an outside diameter of 300 millimetres and an inside diameter of 150 millimetres. Since there are only compression forces acting on the steel in this process, the workpiece is practically not elongated at all.

A number of rolling technologies are used to form the pierced hollows into tubes with specific dimensions and tolerances. Often, the hollow is reheated and then sent through another cross-roll piercer mill, called the elongator; this reduces the wall thickness by 30 to 60 percent. In a subsequent step, a long, preheated, lubricated cylinder called a mandrel may be inserted into the tube. The tube would then be rolled, with the mandrel inside, in a continuous close-coupled, seven-stand, two-high mill, usually with the rolls arranged at a 45° angle and in an alternating pattern like the horizontal and vertical rolls.

A very uniform wall thickness can be formed by this process. Smaller diameter tubes are often formed from larger tubes in a continuous three-roll, close-coupled stretch-reduction mill (E in the figure). These mills sometimes have 20 sets of rolls arranged in tandem.

Open-die forging
Heavy ingots, some weighing up to 300 tons, are sometimes formed at steel plants by huge hydraulic presses with a forging force of up to 10,000 tons. These make such large products as rotors for power-generating units or large sleeves for rolls or pressure vessels. Careful, uniform heating of the ingots to forging temperature may take 60 hours, and, before completion of the forging process, the workpiece may be reheated six times. The forging is accomplished by flat-, vee-, or swage-shaped dies, depending on the shape of the final product. Saddles and mandrels are used for forging rings and sleeves. The workpiece is connected to a long bar, which helps to move and turn it by a crane or manipulator. Large heat-treating furnaces are available in these forging shops to improve microstructure and to release internal stresses caused by the forging operation.
 
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bluesky

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Billet export is fine, but what is China making with these billets?

How are they adding value? What is the final product and how much more expensive is it compared to the local processing and value added?

Could we add value at home for us, using machining/forming/extrusion (for our own use) instead of exporting low value billet for others to add value?

This is similar to Pakistan exporting cotton to other countries. They are missing a chance to add value by further processing.
BD has not been able to produce thousands of steel-based mechanical products. So, we cannot export these items. I do not see any major steps being taken by the private companies supported by the govt.

Since this is the situation, so, it is not bad if BD exports only unfinished steel billets for now. Values are also added to the scrap steel when they are melted in furnaces to produce billets.

To add more value, the steel sector needs to build related mills and import also many machines (BD is unable to produce any machines). This is the way to add more values but it is not happening since 1947.

Now, for steel billet exporting, it is better than not exporting at all. This may gradually develop our steel sector.
 

bluesky

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Ensuring the highest quality, the mill is able to produce up to class 3 grade products which ensure up to 790 MPA by quenching, and class 4 grade products which ensure a maximum of 980 MPA by microalloying.
The unit MPA in the news is usually written as MPa which is Mega Pascal. 780 MPa and 980 MPa are the tensile strength of two grades of steel that the company is bragging they can produce.

These are tensile strength of steel in MPa. Please multiply by 10.1972, the tensile strength comes to be (780 MPa x 10.1972) = 7,954 kg/cm2 and 980 MPa becomes 9,993 kg/cm2.

Guys, please note that only two decades ago the tensile strength could not be raised above 1,800 kg/cm2 by the steelmakers. Japan has already achieved 9,000 kg/cm2 only a few years before and I was not thinking that BD steel mills also have achieved this strength.

It is a great achievement and I think the country's steel products will be gradually accepted by the world. This is why China is importing our steel billets.
 
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Bilal9

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BD has not been able to produce thousands of steel-based mechanical products. So, we cannot export these items. I do not see any major steps being taken by the private companies supported by the govt.

Since this is the situation, so, it is not bad if BD exports only unfinished steel billets for now. Values are also added to the scrap steel when they are melted in furnaces to produce billets.

To add more value, the steel sector needs to build related mills and import also many machines (BD is unable to produce any machines). This is the way to add more values but it is not happening since 1947.

Now, for steel billet exporting, it is better than not exporting at all. This may gradually develop our steel sector.
You are right.

Eventually - we will need rail made from these billets locally to support our railways. Same thing with steel galvanized angle irons and galvanized steel tube poles for electricity transmission tower use.

Which are two very important products in use in Bangladesh. Some of these products may already be made locally (transmission towers).

Another large scale use of galvanized steel is in manufacturing Pre-engineered Buildings, of which there are a dozen or more local manufacturers. This is huge business in Bangladesh for the last two decades, because industrialization is at a fever pitch.

Almost all Pre-engineered factory buildings in Bangladesh are now made locally. Some examples.








Spun Pre-stressed Concrete (SPC) poles in Bangladesh have been made already for many decades, which is cheaper than the steel tube variety, though heavier. The inner reinforcement is made with tor-steel re-bars.

Railways Rail is cheap enough to be imported from India for now via road. We don't have local alternative and setting up machinery for rail conversion from billets locally is more expensive than importing rail, because of economies of scale.
 
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bluesky

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Railways Rail is cheap enough to be imported from India for now via road. We don't have local alternative and setting up machinery for rail conversion from billets locally is more expensive than importing rail, because of economies of scale.
For imports from India, we pay in dollars. If produced in BD we save dollars and create many jobs. So, even if the cost is a little higher, we should produce rails inside the country. It is now also because BD is producing high grade steel with a tensile strength exceeding 9,000 kg/cm2.

The reason India is cheaper is that their factories have started producing this item during probably the time of the British Raj. So, gradually, the cost of production has come down. It will also happen to BD. Indian steel mills have a long history.

Remember Jamshedpur TATA. BD also started sometime during the 1960s with the establishment of Chittagong Steel Mills. I have visited there many times. It was an integrated steel mill producing varieties of products. But, our political cronies are soo worthless that they have very successfully destroyed this only steel mill.
 
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Bilal9

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For imports from India, we pay in dollars. If produced in BD we save dollars and create many jobs. So, even if the cost is a little higher, we should produce rails inside the country. It is now also because BD is producing high grade steel with a tensile strength exceeding 9,000 kg/cm2.

The reason India is cheaper is that their factories have started producing this item during probably the time of the British Raj. So, gradually, the cost of production has come down. It will also happen to BD. Indian steel mills have a long history.

Remember Jamshedpur TATA. BD also started sometime during the 1960s with the establishment of Chittagong Steel Mills. I have visited there many times. It was an integrated steel mill producing varieties of products. But, our political cronies are soo worthless that they have very successfully destroyed this only steel mill.
Yeah I agree. The politicians we elected (of either side) were essentially crooks dancing to the tunes of South Block in New Delhi, and let Indians set our trade policy and control our economy as a result.

Saving a steel mill or looking at self-reliance in essential products like steel items were the last thing on their minds.
 

SpaceMan18

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Yeah I agree. The politicians we elected (of either side) were essentially crooks dancing to the tunes of South Block in New Delhi, and let Indians set our trade policy and control our economy as a result.

Saving a steel mill or looking at self-reliance in essential products like steel items were the last thing on their minds.
When I heard Steel idk why I thought of the book Guns Germs and Steel lmao


Btw , Bangladesh gives 0 dams about self reliance cause the government acts like India will come to the rescue. We are really good at destroying ourselves
 

bluesky

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Thanks to @Bilal9 for the three pictures above. The country needs these kinds of factories in millions in number where our real GDP will be produced and millions of people will be employed. However, it will take a very long time especially when our mechanical engineers cannot design machines and so the machines have to be imported.

Lathe Machine is the father of all machines. Even if you want to produce a lathe machine, you need the help of a lathe machine to do so. I have seen/heard of Lathe Machines in Japan which is fully computerized. The design data is input and a steel pieace with required size and shape is inserted.

The lathe machine is switched on to work and it gradually does all the works like cutting, machining, polishing and many others that I just do not know. After a certain period of time, the part comes out as per the design input.


The world is far ahead of us. So, for the time being BD must import all the factory machines, new or old, from abroad and produce goods that are consumed by industries or human being.

I would like private enterprises to come forward to industrialize the country. Govt should take back seat.
 
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UKBengali

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We have become distracted by talking about other things when it should be a cause of some celebration that BD has exported 50 million US dollars of steel billets to China in just 6 months.

China has massive steel industries and the fact that BD can export so much to it is a testament to the quality that BD can provide.

Inch by inch, BD will hopefully reduce the dependence of garments on its export basket.
 

bluesky

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Inch by inch, BD will hopefully reduce the dependence of garments on its export basket.
Yes, it will happen but not if BD cannot produce capital goods (read machinery) in the country. When that happens it will be the start of a new phase of economic activities where millions will be employed and national wealth will be produced.

For now, producing and exporting high-quality steel is also a starter. Today's $50 million exports may rise to $5 billion, no one knows. We should trust the energy of the private sector. It is always vigorous comparing to govt one.
 

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