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Interview with Fosbel India Private Ltd

Ahead of this year's AsiaCoke 2024, we spoke with Dipankar Banerjee,Business Unit Director, Iron & Steel, Cement & Non-Ferrous at Fosbel India Private Ltd, to get a sneak peek of what we can expect from his presentation on 'Health diagnostics & life extension strategies for coke oven batteries' Here's what he had to say...

Q1. Hi Dipankar, it’s great to have you joining AsiaCoke 2024! Please could you share an overview of what your presentation “Health diagnostics & life extension strategies for coke oven batteries” will cover?

First of all, thanks to the organizers of the event for partnering with us with Fosbel as Platinum Sponsor for the event. Fosbel’s presentation will cover the use of Battery Health Diagnostic tools with the help of COMITTM (Coke Oven Management Information Technology) System developed by us for reporting, tracking & condition monitoring of the health of operating coke oven batteries and the use of such tools in deciding on appropriate maintenance & repair strategies to prolong operating life & oven availability in the coke plant . The presentation will cover Fosbel’s technologies for inspection, hot repair & online maintenance practices for coke oven battery life extension & operational efficiency. The repair & maintenance practices presented would cover major focus areas of coke oven battery viz. Refractories, Anchorage, Heating regulation & Technological Cleaning. The presentation will also cover maintenance practices to ensure compliance to environmental & fugitive emission control norms which is of utmost importance today to ensure long-term sustainable operation of coke ovens.

Q2. Why did you choose to tackle this topic?

With the Coke Oven-BF – BOF route remaining the mainstay of majority of greenfield & brownfield steel capacity expansions in India & Southeast Asia, life extension of operating coke oven Batteries & ensuring long asset life in upcoming new coke ovens, especially tall stamp-charged batteries, is of vital importance to integrated steel plants. That is why we chose to share the best practices, tools & processes developed & implemented successfully by Fosbel over the years with the delegates for them to consider bringing these technologies to their coke plants to ensure enhancing the coke oven battery operating life & also to ensure reliable operation.

Q3.What do you think are the key challenges facing the industry in 2024 and 2025?

From what I have observed, some of the main technical & operating challenges are:
  • Ensuring environmentally compliant & safe operation of the coke oven batteries with fugitive emissions well within norm.
  • Operating the plants cost effectively with available coal blends without affecting oven health.
  • With more & more plants putting up very tall (> 6 m tall) stamp-charged coke oven batteries, one major challenge is to monitor the health & parameters of such tall ovens through proper inspection & maintenance practices.
  • Availability of trained & skilled workforce for running & maintaining coke plants. We need to think how to train & retain fresh working crew coming in on a continuous basis. With several coke ovens coming up in this part of the world, workforce attrition between plants will be a challenge to be tackled.
Q4. What are you looking forward to at this year's AsiaCoke Summit?

We are looking forward to interacting and networking with coke oven operators from countries like Vietnam & Indonesia to understand their plant’s technical issues related to maintenance technologies & discuss with them about the solutions Fosbel can bring to their plants. We are also looking forward to learning about the trend of the metallurgical coke industry in this part of the world from interactions & presentations in the conference. We take this opportunity to invite & encourage the delegates to visit our booth in the venue to meet with & discuss with our senior global management & technical team.

Q5. Why do you feel it's important for people to attend the Summit? 

The metallurgical coke industry in India, China, Japan & Korea are well established with long history of operation over many years. Currently we are seeing many coke ovens are coming up in Southeast Asia. It will be good for the coke oven operators from these emerging markets to come to the Asia Coke 2024 Summit to interact with other coke oven plant managers, OEMs, special service providers & specialists in the field to learn about best practices in the industry. It will be good for service & technology providers also to bring latest technologies to be discussed with & presented to the other delegates.