New era at the Głogów Copper Smelter

Today, on Friday, 20th January 2017, the world’s largest flash furnace and electric furnace installation will be launched at the Głogów Copper Smelter/Refinery during a special ceremony, which will result in the most modern copper smelting production line. This unique technology is currently used in three places in the world – and Głogów is one of them.

Friday, 20 January, 2017

The Głogów Copper Smelter/Refinery has the world’s largest and most modern flash furnace installation for blister copper production with a rectangular electric furnace.

“We are entering a new era in the history of the Głogów smelter. Such a large project has not been carried out since 1978, when Smelter II was launched. The transition from shaft furnace technology to technology based on a flash furnace and electric furnace is a huge technological leap. This places Poland’s metallurgical industry among the global leaders in copper production and allows us to recover valuable associated metals and at the same time reduce environmental impact and copper processing costs,” says Radosław Domagalski-Łabędzki, President of the Management Board of KGHM Polska Miedź S.A. 

Production by the Głogów I Copper Smelter/Refinery is based on single-stage smelting in a flash furnace, where blister copper is produced directly from dried concentrate. This technology combines three stages – concentrate roasting, smelting of matte copper and converting – into a single process. The innovative solutions applied, in technical and technological terms, are the joint work of Polish specialists, primarily from KGHM Polska Miedź S.A., Bipromet S.A. and the Institute of Non-Ferrous Metals in Gliwice, who skillfully used their theoretical and practical knowledge obtained during the many years of operation of the flash smelter at the Głogów II Copper Smelter/Refinery.

Other companies from the KGHM Group (such as Zanam, Energetyka and PeBeKa), which have successfully implemented complicated projects, were also involved in the construction of the flash furnace and pyrometallurgical installation.

“During the past several decades, no other project in Poland has involved as much innovation, as many unique technological solutions, the extreme complexity of the technical solutions employed, and as much equipment designed exclusively to meet the needs of such an installation. Several hundred pieces of equipment, each of which affects the capability of the entire installation, and nearly 50 thousand measurement points. Despite the use of equipment from renowned global suppliers, the solutions designed are entirely Polish, based on several decades of experience with the sister Głogów II Copper Smelter/Refinery,” says Andrzej Szydło, Executive Director of the Głogów Copper Smelter/Refinery.

The completion of the investment at the Głogów Copper Smelter/Refinery will make it possible to secure production at KGHM Polska Miedź S.A. for another 40 years. This investment in flash furnace technology is the basic element of the Pyrometallurgy Modernization Program that has been advanced since 2010.

The strategic financial partner of KGHM Polska S.A. in the pyrometallurgy modernisation investment process is the European Investment Bank, which supported its implementation by means of loans.

 

Timeline:

17th July 1971 – shaft furnaces launched

16th July 2016 – shaft furnaces extinguished

1st October 2016 – flash furnace fire-up process started

15th October 2016 – first kilograms of concentrate fed into the smelter

20th January 2017 – flash furnace launch ceremony. The ribbon will be cut by Mr. Andrzej Duda, President of the Republic of Poland.