90 MW electrode furnace with an electrical islanded power plant utilizing SPLC, SVC for electrical efficiency and stable operation in shielded arc and immersed arc modes
Pronico operates a ferro-nickel smelter near El Estor, Guatemala. The plant is powered by an onsite power plant. The 18m diameter, three-electrode, saprolite smelting electric furnace takes advantages of technological advancements such as shielded-arc smelting, high intensity water-cooling of the furnace crucible, and tap hole design to enable operation at 90 MW power levels. This paper summarizes how Pronico and Hatch have been able to successfully achieve high power shielded-arc smelting supplied by an islanded power plant by using the combination of SPLC and SVC technology. With this technology the operation has been able to achieve a highly stable operation and improve furnace productivity and power plant efficiency with a power plant sized for the nominal furnace operation. The payback on SPLC installation was less than one year.