Russian miner & steelmaker Metalloinvest has modernized the direct reduction plant at Lebedinsky GOK’s hot briquetted iron production facility No 3. The upgrade increased HBI-3’s production capacity by 3%, to more than 2 million tonnes of briquettes per year. The overhaul made the equipment more reliable; in addition, it will result in less downtime during maintenance and repair of the direct reduction plant. Metalloinvest’s investment in the project amounted to about RUB 2.5 billion.In the modernization process, 540 of the direct reduction plant’s reaction pipes were replaced. The new pipes have thick walls made of special heat-resistant steel, and they are also resistant to deformation and cracking under high temperatures. The new pipes also offer a longer service life, of up to 100,000 hours. The plant’s increased capacity is the result of an increase in the diameter of the pipes, which makes it possible to obtain more of the reducing gas necessary for the production of higher volumes of briquettes.