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Panel discussion on Refractory as a stimulus to India’s growth story

09 Feb 2023

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RHI Magnesita team had an exciting opportunity to deliberate upon the future of refractories together with the top executives from Steel, Cement and other user industries as it hosted a panel discussion on "Refractories as stimulus to India's growth" during the India Integration Celebration Day on Feb 9 at Gurugram.

V R Sharma (Vice Chairman - JSPL Advisory), Prasanta Panigrahi (Head of Refractory Technology Group - TATA Steel), K Ramakrishna (Chief General Manager SMS - SAIL ISP), M P Singh (Executive Director - Jayswal Neco), Sanjeev Srivastava (Joint President TPMC, PP&E - UltraTech Cement), V R Sekhar (EVP Central Maintenance Dept. - JSW Toranagallu), Ravi Ranjan (Vice President and Head of Centre of Excellence - Reliance Industries),

B L Dewangan (Sr. VP Business Excellence, Energy Management & Refractory - JSW Dolvi), Parmod Sagar (MD & CEO - RHI Magnesita India Ltd.) and Stefan Borgas (CEO - RHI Magnesita) participated in in the panel discussion moderated by Hakimuddin Ali (Executive Director Dalmia Cement)

A wide range of topics including decarbonization and refractory's contribution in Green Steel production were discussed by the eminent panel. The panelists emphasized upon putting in R&D efforts on improving reliability and predictability of refractory performance while improving refractory performance.

On the development of refractories globally and the contribution of RHI Magnesita in keeping pace with its user industries with changing technologies, Stefan Borgas said “Firstly, we need to focus on circularity with the help of existing technologies. Secondly, in the refractory making process itself, we need to switch to hydrogen burners, we have already initiated major pilot projects in this area. We aim to engage with our customers and OEMs and work with them to understand the technologies they operate with.” Adding to this further, he said “The refractory industry needs to expedite efforts towards decarbonizing refractory raw materials to be able to contribute towards green steel/cement production.”


“We have dedicated drones on converters and blast furnaces, fixed thermal image cameras, we are mapping the furnaces from outside, measuring CO levels (carbon monoxide) making it safer to work. Controlling carbon, reducing hot metal carbon, temperature and CO2 generation is an agenda we are driving. We want RHI Magnesita to help us in this.”

- V R Sharma

“On behalf of TATA Steel, I congratulate RHI Magnesita on this integration. This is going to be challenging we know, but we are sure that the excellent team of RHIM will manage it very well. As a user of refractories what we look at is reliability, predictability and value addition. How can we dynamically monitor the health of refractory with technology? That is the challenge we would like RHI Magnesita to take up.”

- Prasanta Panigrahi

“Today, as we improve upon our operations, we are able to compete with the top leaders in the steel industry. And honestly, the role of RHI Magnesita has been noteworthy in this achievement. Our tundish performance has jumped from an average life of 10-12 heats to 24-25 heats. We are thankful of the efforts put in by the entire RHI Magnesita team. This apart, one of the most important aspects is they have partnered with us in maintaining utmost safety standards at our workplace.”

- K Ramakrishna

“Clean steel is the need of our customer industries. We need focused R&D on refractories for Green Steel production with less refractory consumption. We count on RHI Magnesita for measuring CO2 per ton of steel and help us make green steel.”

- M P Singh

“We are glad to know the efforts put in by RHI Magnesita on developing green technologies. The Cement industry wants RHI Magnesita to work on R&D to better understand refractory behavior with respect to usage of alternate fuel for better refractory life and operations.”

- Sanjeev Srivastava

“We want RHI Magnesita to help us arrest temperature loss in hot metal transport by developing light weight, durable shielding material and also reduction in refractory wastage during application.”

- V R Sekhar

“We have been working very closely with RHI Magnesita team for quite many years now. We would like to increase our collaboration for carbon reduction, early event detection and higher temperature operation of our pet coke gasifier project.”

- Ravi Ranjan

“When we monitor the shell temperature, we see it from the perspective of refractory reliability. We need to look for development in refractories where heat transfer can be contained. Coating in the furnaces is one option, but we need to also look for advanced means to do that. We need R&D focus on this as well as on reducing energy consumption.”

- B L Dewangan

“The integration by RHI Magnesita in India is a bold step. We have been admiring and trying to do what RHI Magnesita has already done in India. Congratulations to the team”

- Hakimuddin Ali