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This investment – the Group’s largest in France – will be used to expand and upgrade the company’s only European plant producing fired dolomite bricks. On October 1st the revamped tunnel kiln was ceremonially inaugurated, marking the largest milestone in the modernization process, which will enhance the plant’s production capacities and increase the workforce by 20%.
RHI Magnesita the leading global supplier of high-grade refractory products, systems and solutions, is investing 3,8 million euros in the modernization and automation of its plant in Valenciennes. “The comprehensive expansion and digitization of the Valenciennes plant is a clear strategic decision in favor of France as a business location”, says Stefan Borgas, CEO RHI Magnesita. “From Valenciennes, we will continue to reliably supply the steel and cement industry in Europe with products from RHI Magnesita in the future.”
The investment includes the installation of an additional press and a technical upgrade of the powerful tunnel kiln, in which products acquire their refractory properties after a firing process of approximately 1 day at 1550°C. Plant Manager Brian Teron and his team inaugurated the new tunnel kiln and celebrated the start of an approximately 30 years lasting service life.
“The tunnel kiln not only enables our technology experts in the refractory sector to increase efficiency and consequently increase production capacities, but also makes a significant contribution to the specialization of our plant in Valenciennes”, says Stefan Borgas. Production capacities will increase from 55.000 tons to 70.000 tons of dead burned dolomite bricks per year.
The modernization and digitalization of the plant safeguards highly specialized jobs in the region. “The investment enables us to increase our workforce by 20%. We are currently hiring and are searching for 20 qualified employees with an engineering or technical background”, says Brian Teron. “RHI Magnesita has been a steady and reliable employer in Hauts de France. The increasing digitalization forces us to create new job profiles that are the future of the refractory industry.”