New Delhi, September 1: The Indian Oil board has cleared the Stage-1 approval to install a Grassroot Needle Coker Unit atIOCL Paradip Refinery using Indian Oil R&D’s in-house technology. The proposed unit will have a Calcined Needle Coke (CNC) production capacity of 56 KTPA. The estimated project cost is Rs 1268 crore.
With the production of CNC, IndianOil shall enter this niche product segment for the first time. CNC is used to produce Graphite Electrodes for deployment in the high temperature (2800 degrees Centigrade) electric arc furnaces of Steel Industry.
S M Vaidya, Chairman IndianOil, said “This Needle Coker Unit is yet another significant step by IndianOil towards de-risking the uncertainty in the POL business. The proposed Unit will enhance the Refinery Gross Margin and will also demonstrate IndianOil’s capability of supplying indigenously licensed technology in the niche product segments”.
Presently the entire Needle Coke requirement of the country (80 -100 KTPA) is met through imports. Production of Needle Coke at Paradip Refinery will reduce import dependency and would contribute to the vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat.
Needle coke is a substitute for natural graphite and offers higher quality consistency. With these technological advancements, Needle Coke is now used to make the carbon anode of Lithium-ion Batteries. As Electric Vehicle (EV) transportation is emerging as a viable option, the production of Needle Coke (Anode for Li-ion battery) would add to the quest for self-reliance in India. This Project can also be replicated, at other Indian Refineries that process low-sulphur-feed in FCCU/RFCCU/INDMAX type of units as a GRM improvement initiative.