Calderys India successfully opens new Tap-Hole Clay line in Nagpur
Best-in-class quality, very productive, fully scalable, ready for growth, and most importantly, built to the highest safety standards, Calderys’ new world-class Tap-Hole Clay line in Nagpur, India is a veritable jewel in the Group’s crown. We spoke to Priyabrata Biswas, General Manager of Calderys’ Nagpur Hub, to learn more about how the new line was achieved and what it represents for the future of the business.
Commissioned in November last year and inaugurated this March, Calderys’ new tap-hole clay state-of-the-art production line and process control is located at its refractory plant in Nagpur, India. It enables the site to produce tap-hole clay (THC) of optimal quality at a higher level of productivity that allows it to meet the demands of even the largest blast furnaces.
“The new line adds to, and improves on, the original line, dating from 2004, with much newer, more efficient equipment and production processes that are fully in line with the latest and highest safety standards for the industry,” explains Priyabrata Biswas. “It enables us to now produce for all sizes of blast furnaces on the market, before being limited to only the smaller segments. With big and jumbo category blast furnaces representing such a large proportion (36%) of the overall addressable market, it was strategically important for Calderys to boost its THC production output to remain competitive. The new line allows us to penetrate new markets in India and even overseas.”
Greater quality, efficiencies, volumes and worker safety
“Thanks to the selection of best-in-class equipment, latest automation and involvement of technology established after years of hard work and dedication, the new line has come out to be truly world-class,” adds Priyabrata. “Having the best, but also the correct equipment for the job allows us to achieve high production accuracy and resolve any deviations that may occur. This is important because tap-hole clay as a product is highly technical, made in close relation with our customers. It is also extremely important to mention that the new line is completely automatic, meaning worker safety is boosted at a high level.”
The result of five years of expertise and dedication
Work on the new line started in 2017 with the design of the circuit. In 2018, the capital expenditures were approved and the first equipment orders were made. Civil construction started in early 2019 upon reception of the majority of the orders, slowing down somewhat during the early pandemic. In 2021, work improved with the line being commissioned in November and operationally inaugurated on 28 March 2022, ready to meet the requirements of customers.
“There are many people that deserve a message of thanks for making the project such a success. I’d like to personally thank everyone who was involved either directly or even indirectly with the core team, who together have helped write a new exciting chapter in the history of Calderys India. Everyone from R&D, Operations and Process worked so well together to test and select the right equipment and ensure the line saw the light of day. I’d also like to thank all our global teams, especially those in France and South Africa who provided engineering and design support to the project,” he continues. “Seeing the new product coming out of the line with its great loom and luster for the first time during the inauguration ceremony will be a memory I will personally cherish for a long time.”
“Let’s not forget that all the erection, commissioning and stabilizing of the new line were achieved without a single Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) incident or case of COVID,” Priyabrata concludes. “There is a lot to be proud about, but that’s the most important. Thank you everyone for your constant monitoring, commitment, focus, and clear communication of the safety protocols. Together we will ensure that the future of THC production at Calderys is as bright as it is safe.”