Gerdau Corsa Steel Mill

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Project Type: Manufacturing Plant
Owner: Gerdau Corsa
Engineer: Pronamet
Contractor: Pronamet
  • Sustainability
Pipe Material:
  • Carbon Steel
Pipe Size: ¼ - 2” / DN8 – DN50
Location: Sahagun City, Hidalgo, Mexico
  • Engineered Product Solutions
  • Fire Suppression
  • Sustainability

Gerdau Corsa is a leading manufacturer of structural and commercial steel profiles with a deeply rooted commitment to employee safety and protecting the environment. They actively demonstrate this commitment by seeking to implement safe, sustainable solutions throughout their production chain. Gerdau Corsa operates two steel and rolling mills, one in the State of Mexico and the other in Sahagún City, Hidalgo.  The construction of the  Sahagún City plant began in 2012, with the intent of developing a benchmark facility for the steel industry in Mexico and Latin America. With its $600 million USD investment, it is the single most important private investment in the history of the state of Hidalgo.

The Sahagún City plant has 250 employees who maintain the machinery and work in high and medium-voltage electric rooms. Safeguarding their lives, while they continue to work in areas containing electrical equipment central to the plant’s operation, represented a significant challenge when selecting a fire suppression system. Additionally, the fire system had to be aligned with Gerdau Corsa’s environmental protection philosophy. The new plant features integrated state-of-the-art sustainable technology which includes a preheating system and a continuous scrap-iron feed, as well as a water treatment plant. Executing this vision required the implementation of a green and sustainable fire suppression solution to safeguard employees and protect the equipment.

During the assessment process for fire suppression systems, the company discarded solutions that released inert gases such as CO2, because these systems pose considerable health hazards to workers during a discharge. Also, their installation called for modifications to the plant to maintain room integrity, which translated into increased cost and time to construct. Furthermore, in the event of an activation, these types of gaseous fire suppression systems require the evacuation and isolation of the affected area before workers can go back into the facilities, thus delaying the time required to resume plant operations. Lastly, these types of systems cannot be zoned, so their installation requires an individual system to be installed in each of the 33 areas needing protection.

When Pronamet, a Mexican Engineering firm specializing in the design and implementation of fire suppression systems, became aware of the difficulties facing Gerdau Corsa, they knew, as a certified Victualic Vortex™ integrator since 2009, that a hybrid (dual agent) fire suppression system would be the best approach.

The Pronamet team installed a total of ten Victaulic Vortex 1500 systems to protect electrical rooms, the electrical substation, and high and medium-voltage transformers. The protected area at the plant totaled 294,000 ft3 distributed in 33 zones, including personnel control booths. The installed systems protect equipment valued at $60 million USD.

With the installation of Victaulic Vortex 1500, Gerdau Corsa guarantees operational continuity, since, in the case of activation, the recovery of the protected area would only require between one and two hours of downtime, while the complete reactivation of the fire suppression system takes only four hours, including the time needed to refill the nitrogen and water tanks.

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Victaulic Vortex 1500 Supression System