In a challenging year for the world economy, RHI Magnesita, the global supplier of refractory products, systems and services, has announced to install a 30 million euros rotary kiln in its mining unit in Brumado, Bahia.
“This investment in the construction of a rotary kiln with innovative technology will enable us to develop a new portfolio of raw materials, in addition to those already available on the market. The new raw materials include noble sinters at very competitive costs on the international market. This will bring operational flexibility, the ability to offer differentiated value-added products to our customers in the Brazilian market, and will put us in an even more competitive position in the global environment,” explains Francisco Carrara, President of RHI Magnesita in Brazil and South America.
The impact on productivity at the mine is also significant. The implementation of the new technology is expected to increase the production in Brumado by more than 30%, as the kiln is designed to process up to 140,000 tons per year. “If we only analyze the production of the raw material from the Pedra Preta mine – the magnesite mine which is located in Brumado – the productivity increase could reach 100%, meaning that our production capacity will be doubled,” says Carrara.
In 2019, the company has already announced an investment of almost 40 million euros in the plant in Contagem, Minas Gerais, constructing a new headquarters for its South American operations. With the first investments already underway in Minas Gerais, RHI Magnesita is now focusing on Brumado – despite the global pandemic.
With the new investment in the construction of a state-of-the-art rotary kiln in Brumado, the company announces investments amounting to 70 million euros in the Brazilian economy in less than a year.
Even at a time when the global economy was severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the company has continued to pursue its strategic plan and prepared for serving the industries it operates in – especially cement and steel – even better than before. “We are already seeing a considerable recovery in the steel and cement segments in Brazil. For this reason, we believe that we must accelerate our investments today. Not only to remain the strongest player in our industry when the crisis is over, but also to be the best, safest and most reliable partner for our customers. We are prepared for a full comeback,” emphasizes Carrara.
With the construction of the rotary kiln, the company expects the lifetime of the Pedra Preta to be extended to 120 years, thus unleashing its full potential.
“On top of this, the production process becomes more sustainable from the moment that we can make better use of the material extracted from the mine, as we will then generate less waste from the process. Additionally, filters will be installed to ensure that there is no particle emission into the environment. Finally, measures to control atmospheric emissions such as particulates and NOx will be implemented,” explains Carrara.
RHI Magnesita is committed to sustainability and is therefore researching on further potential actions to make the project even more sustainable. These include the development of sustainable fuels, such as biomass, and the conduct of CO2 reduction studies within the process itself.
The company also has a dedicated team in its Brazilian research center which develops innovative technologies for CO2 reduction, capture, use and storage, with the mine in Brumado being one of the top priority units.