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Recent Energy Developments and the Magnesia Industry


Recent Energy Developments and the Magnesia Industry Vasili Nicoletopoulos Premier Magnesia LLC Athens, Greece, 18 - 20 May 2015 – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Recent Energy Developments and the Magnesia Industry

Recent Energy Developments and the Magnesia
  • Vasili Nicoletopoulos Premier Magnesia LLC
  • Athens, Greece, 18 - 20 May 2015

  1. Introduction
  2. Energy in MgO production
  3. Energy-related uses of MgO
  4. How are energy prices impacting the MgO markets?
  5. Energy policies
  6. A new norm in energy prices? How will the
    industry adapt?

1. Introduction
  • The mining industry cares about energy because
  • Mining, mineral processing metallurgy all
    energy intensive
  • thus heavily affected by devts in energy markets
  • Conversely, mining metallurgy products have
    energy-related uses refractories, fracking
    proppants, rare earths for renewables, MgO
    insulation etc

2. Energy in MgO production
  • Energy in the production of ccm/dbm/efm -- Main
    source BREF
  • magnesite (magnesium carbonate) MgCO3 (dry
  • brucite (magnesium hydroxide) Mg(OH)2 (dry
  • bischofite (magnesium chloride) MgCl2 6 H2O
    (wet process)
  • seawater and dolomite (wet process)
  • Dry process CLM BREF. Wet process Large
    Volume Inorganic Chemicals - Solids Others BREF

2. Energy in MgO production
  • Synthetic 2 calcinations to ccm, 3 to dbm
  • Natural
  • Various flowsheets, 1 calcination to ccm, 1-2 for
    dbm 1-3 steps for efm
  • At what points along the supply chain are energy
    prices affecting the MgO industry?
  • NR study for natural
  • --carbonate production
  • --transporting carbonate
  • --burning to CCM/DBM/EFM
  • --shipping MgO
  • --production of refractories other uses

(No Transcript)
2. Energy in MgO production, other than in kilns
  • Transport etc diesel
  • Fusion electricity, raw material ccm or dbm --
    except in China MgCO3 fused directly.
  • Funny case Turkey in 80s MgCO3 decomposed using
    electricity to produce CO2 for the adjacent
    bottling company, with MgO a mere byproduct!
  • Electricity conveying, screening, crushing,
    separation, grinding, mixing, water pumping,
    lighting etc.
  • Renewables used in MgO production only
    indirectly, as one of the sources of the grids
    that serve MgO producers. New concept contract
    with a renewables plant to be built next to the

3. Energy-related uses of MgO
  • MgO used as raw material or, more generally, in
    the process
  • MgO used for environmental or, more generally,
    EHS reasons
  • refractories dbm/efm, including to the
    petrochemical industry
  • older use night-storage heater bricks due to
    dbms high thermal accumulation
  • other insulation ccm for boards etc
  • ccm in steel covering the bath
  • On the contrary efm in electrical heaters has
    high thermal conductivity

3. Energy-related uses of MgO
  • Coal/oil power plants
  • a ccm as fuel additive eg for heavy metal
  • b scrubbing to sequester/remove SOx gas from
    wet electrostatic precipitators and SO2 from flue
    gas desulfurization scrubbers
  • c in Selective Catalytic Reduction systems to
    reduce sulfur SO3 generated by the boiler and SCR
    unit as well as to lessen opacity emissions and
    acid plumes related to SO3.
  • d for corrosion control and opacity treatment
  • Nuclear waste treatment ccm in the disposal of
    low-radiation waste
  • Drilling locations /fracking ccm for borehole
    stability, H2S absorption, for drilling cements
  • Oil Sands production ccm for SiO2 removal to
    allow reuse of water
  • Petroleum cracking MgO-based catalysts
  • Indirectly-related to energy eg ccm for higher
    recovery of Co/Ni/Cu fm ore extraction

3. Energy-related uses of MgO
  • Future or futuristic? examples
  • Carbon-negative and environmentally friendly
    cements eg Calera, Novacem
  • Eco-concrete' floor panels
  • Mg-ion batteries, instead of Li
  • hydraulic fracturing dbm as a proppant?
  • heating up w/ PV the briny discharge fm
    desalination to convert MgCl2?MgO a good agent
    to absorb CO2, ie a dual environmental benefit
  • Photovoltaic/Thermal Systems with MgO-water
    nanofluids flowing over silicon solar cells
  • Recent fluid advances for the completion phase of
    deepwater projects

4. How are energy prices impacting the magnesia
  • CLM BREF Energy costs can constitute 3540 of
    total production costs
  • So when oil drops fm 110 to 50, energy costs say
    they are 100euros/mt MgO should theoretically
    and eventually fall by 45. Ceteris paribus,
    total costs should then drop to 82-84 euros/mt MgO

Magmin 2015, Athens, Greece, 18-20 May '15
5. Energy policies
  • How does/will energy policy affect the production
    of MgO?
  • How does energy policy affect the use of MgO?
  • Policy measures
  • Climate change, ETS, Carbon Leakage ETS
    structural reform discussed European Council
    conclusions Oct 14 Free allocation will not
    expire, Market Stability Reserve (MSR) effective
    when?, direct indirect carbon costs to be
    taken into account, in line w/ EU state aid
    rules, The most efficient installations in CL
    sectors should not face undue carbon costs
    leading to CL.
  • Study grouping several producers to assess new
    criteria that Euromines would propose for CL, for
    allocation and eventually for inclusion of the
    sector in Annex III of the Subsidy Regulation to
    receive compensation for increased electricity

5. Energy policies
  • Electricity subsidy regulations Study Nov 14,
    1st to provide consistent data on energy costs
    and subsidies for all EU Member States and all
  • Total value of public interventions in energy
    (excluding transport) in the EU-28 was 122
    billion 2012
  • Energy Efficiency Directive
  • Strategic Energy Technologies (SETs)
  • Furnaces
  • Renewables subsidies being phased out
  • More general policies
  • EC antitrust charges against Gazprom
  • Energy Union
  • Juncker Plan

5. Energy policies
  • EU recognition of a lost decade for low-C
    investmentMSR in 2021 to tackle permit
    oversupply, that depressed C price...EC EIB
    launching new financial instruments, towards
    investment in energy efficiency, efforts to
    preserve natural capital, adaptation to climate
  • US Obama seeks 2bn in climate change inv, Feb
    10 '15...More global funding needed for CCS
    technology, Obama ?16 budget urges US states to
    cut emissions faster, Feb 2 '15Upcoming
    free-trade agreements ? easier for US companies
    to export gas invest in shale gas tight oil

6. A new norm in energy prices? How will
industry adapt?...
  • Energy prices and Carbon prices are relatively
    low now -- not clear whether this will be the new
  • So the industry needs energy-saving efforts
  • Energy Efficiency Techniques reference document
  • optimisation of the entire process, eg by
    minimizing losses
  • conveyor belts replacing trucks
  • using fuels with high calorific value and low
    moisture content
  • smooth/stable kiln operation conditions
  • CLM BREF oxygen enriched combustion air for the
    firing process can increase the efficiency of the
    firing process
  • use of waste heat to preheat the feed to rotary
    kilns or the water in the flotation circuit, or
    the fuel oil

6. A new norm in energy prices? How will
industry adapt?...
  • producing steam for heating buildings GR or for
    co-generation Spain
  • new techniques for co-incinerating waste
    materials BREF, Coplet? http//
  • to reduce electricity CLM BREF Using power
    management systems, Using grinding equipment and
    other electricity based equipment with high
    energy efficiency. Also use renewables on-site,
    eg PV/wind.
  • Longer-term Improved design of kilns
  • CLM BREF No emerging techniques for the MgO
    industry using the dry process route have been
    provided yet.
  • Moving away from coal and, later on, petcoke?
  • To lower energy cost develop shale oil/gas in
    magnesite areas eg Europe, Russia, Australia

6. A new norm in energy prices? How will
industry adapt?
  • But all this depends on what happens to the world
  • starting with China
  • Could India take over the role of China as the
    world's growth engine?
  • There in an asynchronism USA, Eurozone and
    China are in very different phases of the
    economic cycle ? policies are different. Same
    problem inside the Eurozone.
  • but according to others Krugman it is the
    other way round ?policies? ?economic outcomes
  • If the world economy slows down despite QEs,
    energy demand will continue falling. When the
    going gets tough, only the tough get going...
  • ..In energy production these will be Saudi Gulf
    allies, China with coal also some US shale
    producers esp. if large-scale exports are

Thank you very much Vasili Nicoletopoulos Premier
Magnesia LLC