Process

The main activity of Feni Industries is processing nickel ores and production of nickel in the form of ferronickel. The smelter is processing the laterite ores, where iron and nickel are found in oxide form. These types of ores are characterized by relatively low content of nickel. Following the organizational and technological process, the smelter is divided into 4 main production plants:

1. Preparation of ore,

2. Pelletization and pre-reduction,

3. Smelting,

4. Refining and Granulating.

 

1. In Feni, ore is brought from different places with different quality, mostly from Guatemala, Turkey, Albania and Macedonia. Previously the ore was brought from Indonesia and the Philippines. The ore which is coming from the mines is in unappropriate form for direct treatment (has a high moisture content and big grains.) Therefore, in the smelter first is carried out the preparation of ore consisting of crushing, drying and milling.

2. After crushing, drying and milling, the ore (called "nickel concentrate") goes into the mixer. In the mixer, fine ore is mixed with water and bentonite (clay, which serves as a "glue"). Then, this mixture through a long conveyor belt is going in the production facility, which begins with Pelletizing plant, where on Disk Pelletizers green pellets are produced. In the Lepol Grate the pellets are dewatered, dried and preheated. This preheated pellets are entering in the Rotary Kiln where with addition of lignite pre-reduction is done. For establishing a flame, Rotary Kilns are equipped with burners that operate on fuel oil and petrolkoks. For heating the Rotary Kilns, as solid fuels, except lignite which is required for reduction, biomass and rubber chips are added.

3. The pre-reduced pellets are charged inside the Electric Furnace, where because of the high temperature (about 1600⁰C) generated by electricity, pellets melt and produces crude ferronickel and slag (Slag from Electric Furnace).

4. The raw ferronickel, is refined in the Converter by blowing oxygen. In the Converter is generated Refined ferronickel and slag (Slag from Converter). The refined ferronickel (80% iron and 20% nickel), after holding in the Holding Furnace for homogenization and correction of the composition is granulated into granules with a size of about 3 cm. The granulated ferronickel, as a final product of Feni Industries, is used mainly for the production of steels and stainless steel.