Russian steel maker Novolipetsk Metallurgical Plant has begun reconstruction of a furnace for heating steel billets before rolling at mill 2000. The modernization of the unit will increase the production of hot-rolled steel in Lipetsk by 430,000 tonnes per year or 7%, improve product quality, halve energy consumption, and to reduce greenhouse gas CO2 emissions by 53,000 tonnes.The reconstruction will be carried out in the conditions of the existing production without stopping the mill. The new unit will be equipped with an automated control system based on a learning mathematical model. It will independently adjust the temperature regime depending on the rolling of specific steel grades. After the reconstruction, the furnace capacity will increase by 23% to 320 tonnes per hour (2.25 million tonnes per year).Currently, five units are in operation at the 2000 mill kiln section, four of them have been modernized earlier. With the commissioning of the fifth reconstructed furnace, the entire volume of hot rolling metal will be processed on highly efficient, resource-saving new generation units. It is planned to complete the reconstruction and commission the unit in the second quarter of 2023. Investments in the project will amount to over 5 billion rubles.