Russia has not exactly been known in recent years for the cutting edge of its production technologies or for the quality of its industrial tool, and its vast old steel works displayed decrepitude on a grand scale. After decades of strictly volumes-oriented production and low levels of investment, the steel industry was left in a dire condition following the demise of the Soviet Union. Dubious privatization processes, doubts over the ownership structures and conflicts over access to raw materials and markets did not help the industry either, and by the early 1990s, the state of the industry was critical.
Today, alongside the traditional blast furnaces, one can see modern hot and cold rolling mills, galvanizing lines and an increasing number of electric arc furnaces, continuous casters and other key production equipment that defy the image of an outdated industry. The strong presence of the world’s leading production equipment manufacturers, from SMS Demag through to VAI-Fuchs,
Danieli or SMS Meer is in itself a testimony of how the Russian steel sector has undertaken its reform.