Showa Denko K.K. (SDK) has completed its shift in fuel from heavy oil to liquefied natural gas (LNG) at its Omachi Plant, enabling the plant to reduce CO2 emissions by 10,000 tons a year. Although the Omachi Plant is mainly producing graphite electrodes for use in electric arc furnaces that make steel from iron scraps, it also produces graphite anode material for lithium-ion batteries for use in electric vehicles.
The plant is one of the largest graphite electrode facilities in the world.
Graphite electrode production requires a large amount of electricity and fuel because it involves the forming of raw material, baking, and graphitizing. SDK hydroelectric power plants supply CO2-free electricity to the graphitizing process, which is the most important part of the production.
In addition to reducing CO2 the new switch to natural gas will ensure better control of the temperature in the production process.
In February, SDK completed a 270-kL LNG storage facility within the premises of the Omachi Plant to facilitate the fuel shift. LNG is gasified at the facility and supplied to the baking process. Surplus waste heat collected at the Plant is used as heat source for the gasification of LNG.