It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to state that the largest industrial construction works take place in the west of the country – in Aktobe. The construction of new ferroalloys plant is carried out here on 47 hectares. The future production is unique with its “hearts” – furnaces. Such powerful equipment has never been used in world mining and metallurgical industry before. This “project of the future” is one of the projects implemented by ENRC (Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation) under the State Program of industrial and innovative development.
“It is a bright example of how production develops in line with global trends, – highlights Felix Vulis, ENRC PLC CEO. – Fifteen projects of our investment program are included in the state and regional maps of industrialization. We move forward in this direction. Our active involvement in implementation of the second industrial five-year plan which is currently elaborated by the Government of Kazakhstan is undoubted.”
As is known, the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev placed symbolical capsule in the foundation of the future plant. Therefore exceptional attention is paid to the construction process. Amount of investments in the project is $750 million. The plant will produce 440 ktpa of ferrochrome. Up to 400 people will be employed. However the most important innovation is technology – four direct current furnaces of 72MW will be assembled here. As Victor Til, president of “Kazchrome TNC” JSC of ENRC says, there is no alternatives to these furnaces in the world. Such units are assembled only in one metallurgical plant in South Africa, but they are less powerful and less productive.
“Implementation of modern technologies will enable to reduce prime cost of products by 15–20%, – adds Victor Til. – Absence of an electric arc in the furnaces will allow producing metal and slag separately. As a result, we will increase chrome extraction to 92%. Automation of all processes will also enable us to increase workforce productivity by 3–4 times. The plant will not only recycle all slags, but also recycle ferroalloy gas into 40–55 MW electricity. After the furnaces will be commissioned we won’t have to use deficient coke ore – we will be capable of working with fine ore of which we have no lack.”
There are some other figures about the project.
“Overall we have extracted 670 thousand cubic meters of soil and placed 61 thousand cubic meters of concrete”, – says Akimzhan Bishenov, head of the project, reciting volumes of the completed works.
This is not a single innovative project of the corporation. ENRC has established its own Research and Engineering Centre to manage the innovations activities. Its specialists work on development and implementation of new technologies creating their own studies on the basis of the best world practices in the field of ore processing and metallurgy, power systems and ecology. First of all it relates to modernization of current ferroalloys production technologies and development of new technologies on recycling of industrial wastes including production of competitive products.
Today the Government of Kazakhstan sets task to reduce industrial wastes significantly and, ideally, to conduct their total recycling. Such wastes as overburden rocks, slags and silts can become raw materials, for instance, for construction. Employees of the corporation not only understand this, but also put it into practice. For instance, broken stones are produced from slags of high carbon ferrochrome production.
As for another state initiative – development of local content, the new ferroalloys plant in Aktobe will be distinguished with use of Shubarkol special coke replacing imported lump coke. It is produced in Shubarkol Komir in Karagandy region which joined ENRC in April 2012. High quality reducing agent is developed here by certified technology of low temperature destructive distillation.
Another promising area is production of aluminium. Fully functional aluminium cluster will appear in Pavlodar this year. Production of baked anodes will be based on Kazakhstan Aluminium Smelter (KAS), part of ENRC. Everyone who is involved in the process of its construction is certain – this is the most innovative and ambitious project of anode baking which has no analogues in the CIS area. The construction of the plant costs $240 million. There will be produced up to 136 tonnes of anodes per year. This project was included in the Republican map of industrialization, the uniqueness of the project is in its… furnace.
This furnace is the only one in post-soviet area, according to the President of "KAS" Almaz Ibragimov. It provides a vertical load of the anodes, refractory products of highest quality were used in construction of this furnace. Special control system constantly monitors the state of the unit. It corrects technological process in case of any changes, that increases the lifespan of the unique equipment.
“After launching the plant we will be able to produce aluminium using our own anodes. That will decrease the production cost, hence improve competitiveness of our products”, – says CEO of ENRC PLC Felix Vulis.
Innovations are introduced at other plants of ENRC as well. There is equipment such as briquetting plant for finely-divided chrome concentrates and generation of chromium pellets using indurating machines at Donskoy GOK. At Aksu Ferroalloys Plant – agglomeration of fine manganese and chrome concentrates which not only provides the furnaces with high quality agglomerated raw materials, but also allows to return dust and sludge from gas cleaning to the production cycle. This is another step towards waste-free technologies.
“We are working on the development of technologies that allows to “open” rocks with selective destruction of minerals. Thus, to separate its valuable part from the waste efficiently. In future Research and Engineering Centre will have its own engineering and project divisions. The divisions will carry out not only the scientific part but project implementation of the projects in Kazakhstan”, – says the head of the Research and Engineering Centre Agybai Sabitov.
The corporation focuses on the technology that will provide maximum energy efficiency and environmental friendliness, as well as minimum maintenance costs compared to global competitors.
“Introduction of new technologies at the same time with participation in such important state programs as Industrial and Innovation Development and development of local content – have been and will be our priority”, – sums up the head of ENRC Felix Vulis.