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The raw materials for the steel industry in northwest Russia were first discovered between 1930 and 1933. Iron ore deposits were found above the Arctic Circle on the Kola Peninsula and coal was discovered in the Pechora River region of the far north. Traditionally, steel mills were built either close to iron or close to coal, but since these new deposits were located in such remote and inhospitable territory, Soviet planners decided to construct the mill in a central area near the intersection of trade routes for ore, coal, and finished products. The chosen site was near the small town of Cherepovets, equidistant from Moscow and St. Petersburg and 1,500 to 2,000 kilometers away from iron and coal sources.
On June 20, 1940, the government of the U.S.S.R. approved the resolution "On the Organization of a Metallurgical Base in the Northwest of the USSR," calling for the construction of a steel mill near Cherepovets. Dozens of scientific institutes began testing the raw material deposits and drawing up plans for the mill, but the USSR's involvement in World War II temporarily halted progress.
Construction was resumed in early 1948. In 1951 a metal prefabrication shop was finished, followed by a heating and electrical power center in 1954. On August 24, 1955, the blast furnace--which transforms iron oxide ore into molten iron--was ready for operation. Blast furnace operator F.E. Drozdov drilled a tap hole at 3:25 p.m. and the first molten iron ran out of the furnace. This date was considered the birthday of the Cherepovets Steel Mill.
Additional components were added to the mill over the next five years. In February 1956 an oven began processing coal into coke, a source of pure carbon used to reduce iron ore in the blast furnace. The first steel ingot was cast on May 1, 1958. In 1959 rolling mills began processing semi-finished steel into finished sheets. Europe’s largest sheet rolling mill began to work in November 1959.
The Cherepovets plant became a full-cycle integrated iron and steel works. New metallurgical facilities came into operation in the following years: blast furnaces, electrical furnaces, converters, rolling mills for the production of sheet and section steel.
Taking into consideration the complex structure and integrated nature of production, on June 23, 1983, the Ministry of Ferrous Metallurgy of the USSR resolved to reorganize Cherepovets Metallurgical Plant into Cherepovets Steel Mill.
On September 24, 1993, pursuant to a Decree of the President of the Russian Federation, State Enterprise Cherepovets Steel Mill was registered by the Mayor’s Office of the City of Cherepovets as Joint Stock Company “Severstal”.
Severstal began actively expanding from 1993, incorporating businesses manufacturing fabricated metal products and pipes and producing iron ore and other minerals, as well as steel making plants in North America and Europe.
The Company focuses on high added value products and unique niche products.
Severstal’s flagship asset is Cherepovets Steel Mill, an integrated steel plant with coking coal, agglomeration, blast furnaces, steel-smelting and rolling facilities. It is one of the world’s most powerful and modern ferrous metals manufacturing enterprises.
Severstal’s corporate governance is in line with international best practices. The Company’s Board of Directors has 10 members, 5 of whom are independent directors.
In 2011 the Company developed a corporate social responsibility policy which defines its public commitments to safety, health, and environmental and social responsibility. Corporate social responsibility policy and the relevant industry standards were adopted across all of the Company’s operations in 2012.