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Ruukki Metals has initiated cooperation with Russian PJSC Karelsky Okatysh, a fully-owned subsidiary of the Severstal Group, to develop new grades of iron pellets.

Ruukki uses iron ore pellets as a feedstock in crude iron manufacture. New grades of pellets developed by Karelsky Okatysh are to be tested in the laboratory at Ruukki's Raahe Works in Finland. Tests will also be conducted at the University of Oulu in the Laboratory of Process Metallurgy, which can simulate blast furnace conditions.

"Ruukki will provide a testing laboratory environment meeting international standards in the project and Karelsky Okatysh will manufacture different grades of pellet for us to test. This development project is the interests of both Karelsky Okatysh, who are developing the pellet grades, and us, as users of iron ore pellets," says Erkki Pisilä, Director, Development of Hot Metal Production & Operations Control, at Ruukki's Raahe Works.

Ruukki sources most of the pellets its needs from Sweden. In spring last year, Ruukki signed a three-year contract for supplies of coking coal and iron pellets with Severstal Resources, a division of the Severstal Group, to reduce its dependency on distant coking coal and to spread purchases of raw materials. The goal is to spread purchases of raw materials and to improve the overall efficiency of the steel-making process, where development of the blast furnace charge material is an important factor. 

Ruukki provides its customers with energy-efficient steel solutions for better living, working and moving. Ruukki operates in some 30 countries and employs around 9,000 people. Net sales in 2011 totalled EUR 2.8 billion. The company's share is quoted on NASDAQ OMX Helsinki (Rautaruukki Oyj: RTRKS).

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