Novocherkassk, December 25, 2019. The advanced four-chamber direct heating Castner graphitization furnace has been brought into operation in the electrode graphitization shop at EPM Novocherkassk Electrode Plant (EPM–NEP, part of the EPM Group).
The construction of the furnace cost RUB 45 million. The new equipment was built in six months at the site, where the indirect heating Acheson furnace was previously operated. The new furnace boasts advanced technical parameters and higher energy efficiency. The Castner furnace reduces the total production cycle time and decreases electricity consumption by more than 35% compared to indirect heating furnaces. In addition, the furnace design and process environment improve the product graphitization quality.
Evgeniy Churikov, Managing Director of EPM–NEP, commented that the furnace construction was part of the project planned under the Special Investment Contract signed by the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation, the Government of the Rostov Region, and EPM Group. According to the Special Investment Contract, Novocherkassk Electrode Plant will invest more than RUB 2.7 billion in upgrading the graphite electrode production by the end of 2023.
The project also provides for retrofitting Section 1 of the electrode graphitization shop with Castner furnaces (to replace the Acheson furnaces). Within the framework of the project, a total of five furnaces are planned for retrofitting. Another Castner furnace with the similar parameters is currently under construction in the electrode graphitization shop of EPM–NEP.