CHELYABINSK, Russia, July 16, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Mechel OAO (NYSE:MTL) , one of the leading Russian mining and metals companies, announces the launch of the universal rolling mill at Chelyabinsk Metallurgical Plant. Russia's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev launched the mill in an official ceremony. The company's and the plant's management and other officials attended the ceremony. The universal rolling mill is Russia's first complex universal producer of high-quality structural shapes and rails of 12.5 to 100 meters long. The mill's complex includes all necessary technological equipment and uses state-of-the-art rolling, correction, processing and quality control technologies. The mill's capacity is up to 1.1 million tonnes of finished product a year. Investment in the project totaled some 715 million US dollars. Italy's Danieli acted as equipment supplier for the mill, with China's Minmetals the mill's primary contractor. The mill's active construction phase took two years. The mill's primary building is some 1.5 kilometers long, with the longest technological line for rail production over 3 kilometers long. As a result of implementing the project at Chelyabinsk Metallurgical Plant, over 1,500 new jobs were created. Besides, due to the use of advanced technologies during the mill's construction, the plant's negative impact on the environment will be dramatically decreased due to old equipment being taken out of commission and new cleansing equipment installed. The rails produced at the mill are due to be supplied to Russian Railways OAO as part of the Development Strategy for Russian Railway Transport until 2030, approved by the Russian government and including modernization and construction of new railways all over the country. In February 2008, Mechel OAO and Russian Railways OAO signed an agreement for long-term mutually beneficial partnership in providing Russian railways with transport steel rolls. Chelyabinsk Metallurgical Plant and Russian Railways OAO also signed a contract for annual rail supplies of up to 400,000 tonnes until 2030.