RHI AG is a renowned name in the market, development, production and service of refractories. They are the Germany-based world leader in the field of refractories with 8100 employees and production facilities in about 32 countries and more than 100 locations around the world. Currently the total volume refractories produced by RHI AG is more than 2 million tonnes p.a. of Refractory Bricks (RefractoryBricks – Shapes and Sizes), Castables,Mortars and other functional products.
RHI has built and inaugurated one of the largest fusion plants for magnesia raw materials for more than 75 million euros in Norway in this month. In this fusion plant, magnesia obtained from sea water is converted to fused magnesia, which is a high-grade refractory raw material, at temperatures about 2800OC. With a capacity of approximately 85000 tonnes per year, the plant is one of the largest worldwide. According to RHI, 120 employees will work at the plant in full operation.
“We are increasing self-supply with magnesia raw materials, which are very important for the refractories industry, to 80% and thus continue to consistently pursue our strategy of backward integration. With this new plant, we will be completely independent from Asian fused magnesia imports. And we are shortening delivery routes to the European RHI sites”, said RHI CEO Franz Struzl at a press conference at the plant in Porsgrunn, Norway.
“The Porsgrunn location offers several advantages, including the infrastructure, the support of local politics and the energy costs in Norway. In addition, we have decades of experience, which gives us a very good command of the complex process of obtaining magnesia from seawater. The construction of the fusion plant is one of the largest onshore investments in Norway in five years and is planned as a long-term investment”, said RHI plant manager Roger Gravdal.
RHI acquired this fusion plant in Porsgrunn and another raw material plant in Drogheda (Ireland) last year. Both plants are based on the extraction of magnesia from sea water. RHI thus broadened its technological base in extracting refractory raw materials and increased the number of raw material plants to eight.
RHI mines magnesite and dolomite at six locations in Austria, Italy, Turkey and China in surface and underground mining. RHI produces about 1 million tonnes of refractory raw materials per year.
The advantage of fused magnesia from Norway lies in its highly refractory properties caused by the firing process by means of electrofusion, in which the crystalline structure magnesia is improved significantly and the magnesia (MgO) content is increased to nearly 100%.
Fused magnesia from Norway is primarily used at the European RHI plants Veitsch (Austria), Radenthein (Austria), Aken (Germany) and Duisburg (Germany) and processed to end products for the steel, cement, lime, refractory and some nonferrous Metals industries.
- RHI AG extends contractwith Voestalpine Donawitz for supplying Refractory Materials (Bricks, Castablesand Mortars) worth EUR 24 million
- Central Salt and MarineChemical Research Institute, India expects an US patent for developing atechnology of extracting Refractory Grade Magnesia from Sea Water