Mining News Pro - Russia’s Graphite electrode (GE) major Energoprom Group has commissioned a new pitch impregnation line at its Novocherkassk electrode plant.

According to Mining News Pro -Russia’s Graphite electrode (GE) major Energoprom Group has commissioned a new pitch impregnation line at its Novocherkassk electrode plant. This line is intended to expand the enterprise`s graphite electrodes production capacities used for steel smelting in electric arc furnaces. The project cost is estimated to be around RUB 172 million (USD 2.49 million).

The opening of a new line will make it possible to double the capacities of the plant`s impregnation facilities and to improve the quality and output volume of graphite electrodes. The commissioning of additional equipment will enable an increase in product output from 1,500 to 3,000 tonne per month. The upgradation of the plant with the new line will also help to make the electrodes structure more impact.

As per the company sources, the launch of a new line is an important stage in implementing ENERGOPROM Group`s ambitious investment program, which is aimed at increasing GE supply in the domestic market and develop import substitution processes in the industry.

Implementation of the company`s investment program will decrease the import dependence of Russian metallurgical companies on supplies of graphite electrodes, and the increased quality of the manufactured products will make them even more sought after both in the domestic and in the foreign markets.

In Jun’18, the Energoprom’s Novocherkassk electrode plant had also started its new baking furnace by loading the first batch of graphite electrodes into the same. The equipment was launched as part of an investment program aimed at reequipping production facilities with a focus on the production of large-size electrodes for electric arc furnaces.

The new baking furnace had a capacity of more than 1,000 tonnes per month. Efficient use of furnace chamber loading also made possible to fire large diameter electrodes adding to its production capacity by 25%.

ENERGOPROM Group is a leading Russian manufacturer graphite electrodes in the country and has three plants specializing in manufacturing high-quality electrode in Novocherkassk, Novosibirsk and Chelyabinsk (Russia).

Manufacturers’ efforts to deal with the surging GE demand

The demand for graphite electrodes has been booming across the world against the backdrop of China’s pollution crackdown. As China tightened the screws last year on polluting industrial plants, about 30% of its graphite electrode production has been shut, leading to an explosion in global prices and benefiting manufacturers elsewhere.

The global graphite electrode manufacturers are not prepared to meet the sudden surge in GE demand as the electrodes production cycle is 4-6 months, while capacity building requires up to two years and huge financial investment. Moreover, there is also a shortage of needle coke in the international market which is the main raw material for graphite electrodes production. However, the major players are steadily preparing themselves to deal with this surge in GE demand as the requirement of the same is likely to increase further in the coming future amid rising awareness towards the environment.

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