Evraz is completing a $US 520m project to rebuild its Western Siberia Metallurgical Plant to enable it to produce 100m-long head-hardened rails for the first time. Such rails can be used on heavy-haul or high-speed lines. The work will also increase production at the plant to 950,000 tonnes of rails a year.

In addition, Evraz is investing $US 60m to reconstruct its Nizhny Tahil Metallurgical Plant to enable it to produce 25m volumetric tempered rails with a high-purity surface. When the upgrade has been completed, annual production will be boosted to 550,000 tonnes of rail.

"Our railway products' segment has excellent prospects for growth," says Mr Ilya Shirokobrod, Evraz vice-president and head of the railway products division. "When the reconstruction is over we will be able to produce rails that meet the highest world standards and the strictest requirements of our customers, and in particular those of RZD."