Saint Gobain : The largest low-carbon electric furnace in Europe

Photo credit: Viktor Macha

In order to reduce as much as possible the environmental impact of industrial production, Saint-Gobain PAM Canalisation, with the support of the French Agency for Ecological Transition (ADEME), has just invested almost 10 million euros in the acquisition of the largest low-carbon electricity furnace in Europe (for ductile iron pipes).

The company has already succeeded in several ambitious initiatives: the large circular project (circulation of industrial water which reduces consumption by two thirds), gas recovery from the blast furnace (again for the operation of the Pont-à-Mousson plant in France), the choice is just one of raw materials with the Ecovadis label, the telescope technology to reduce the CO2 pollution of the transport and the introduction of an energy management system at all locations.

CO2-emission-free production

Investing in a large, low-carbon electric furnace is another step in the direction of environmental change for Saint-Gobain PAM sewerage. This furnace means that the production does not emit CO2 and does not require the extraction of water from the outside environment, which significantly reduces the company’s ecological footprint (reducing CO2 emissions by up to 10% per ton of cast iron made by Saint-Gobain PAM Canalisation in Europe will be produced).

This system reinforces the positive logic of the local production cycle of Saint-Gobain PAM Canalisation, where 100% of the pipes sold in Europe are made in Europe – mainly in France (75%), reducing CO2 consumption compared to imported pipes becomes Asia or India. The use of decarbonised electricity in France means lower emissions compared to processes that use CO2 energy.

Another step towards the circular economy

100% of the ductile iron material used by Saint-Gobain PAM sewerage can recycled indefinitely without loss of performance. With this in mind, Saint-Gobain PAM Canalisation has developed a recycling service for old cast iron pipes, in which all residual waste is avoided. The old pipes are transported to the Saint-Gobain PAM Canalisation works, where they are broken into pieces before being remelted into new pipes in a cupola furnace.

This new furnace, known as a secondary smelting furnace, makes it possible to recycle almost 100% of the cast iron waste from the primary smelting process, thereby limiting the consumption of natural resources and the transportation of raw materials.

An effective answer for Customers

With a capacity of 120,000 tons of cast iron per year, the new furnace will increase production and enable the company to respond more quickly to customer requests. This oven can also be shut down and restarted more frequently, allowing greater flexibility in responding to needs.

Read our story: Are there any materials that can be infinitely recycled?

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