“Kommersant”: Russian metallurgists recognized the critical dependence on Western spare parts

The Russian metallurgical industry turned out to be critically dependent on Western parts and equipment, and it will not be possible to replace some of the imports on our own for at least 10 years. It is not possible to find a replacement for some consumables in Asian markets, since their quality and characteristics do not reach their Western counterparts. It will not be possible to solve the problem in a short time, even the Ministry of Industry and Trade admits. Kommersant writes about this with reference to the draft strategy for the development of metallurgy in Russia until 2030, which was prepared by the department.

The department's document refers to the total dependence on equipment from "unfriendly countries", which is reflected in the entire production process and final product prices. Moreover, the high dependence on imported components is already rolling back the Russian metallurgy for years - companies are forced to cancel or postpone the modernization of production facilities.

The country does not have its own refractories for blast-furnace and steel-smelting industries, galvanizing lines, polymer coating lines, and heating furnaces are not produced. The technologies for the production of rolls for rolling mills, which were also mainly imported, have been practically lost. Domestic technologies of the steel sector, the creation of equipment for redistribution of the sintering cycle are much inferior to foreign counterparts. At the same time, Western companies not only refuse to cooperate on new contracts, but also stop servicing equipment that has already been delivered.

Deliveries of analogues from Asian markets are often inferior in quality, cost more due to logistics costs and do not solve long-term problems, the report of the Ministry of Industry and Trade says. The complex replacement of Western technologies in the Russian metallurgy, according to the agency, will take approximately 10-12 years, approximately the same time will be required from the development, testing and implementation of Russian analogues of Western units.

The source of the publication in the industry admits that metallurgy is highly dependent on Western supplies, however, all the vital spare parts of the company were able to replace, the main difficulties are associated with long-term projects and the development of the industry as a whole. Officially, the Ministry of Industry and Trade refused to comment on the report, noting only that Russia has enough of its own enterprises that can replace the departed Western companies.

SBS Consulting project manager Dmitry Babansky is sure that there is no need to seriously talk about import substitution in the next 2-3 years, during this period the stake will obviously be placed on supplies from "friendly" countries. The expert called the general situation with equipment in the industry "deplorable, but with reservations." He admits that Russia also has its own producers of the necessary units, but they will be able to qualitatively replace their Western counterparts only after 10 years of active investment.

In addition to problems with the supply of Western equipment, Russian metallurgists are experiencing difficulties with the supply of their own products to world markets. Due to the war with Ukraine and the sanctions imposed against Russia, the country's largest metallurgical plants are faced with a drop in demand for their products, companies are already having to cut production and costs.

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