The Compagnie Universelle d'Acétylène et d'Électro-Métallurgie first established an industrial site in Dunkirk in 1978. In the 1980s, the plant was bought by the Pechiney group, then by Comilog, a Gabonese manganese producer, which became part of the Eramet group in 1996.
Comilog Dunkerque—alongside Eramet Norway, Eramet Marietta and Comilog's Moanda Metallurgical Complex—is one of the Eramet Group's manganese alloy producing plants that work in synergy in order to improve efficiency. For example, the Dunkirk plant uses by-products from Eramet Norway’s plants.
The silicomanganese produced using ore from Comilog’s mines is mainly intended for the European market, where it is used in the steel industry, such as at ArcelorMittal, and in the construction industry (for buildings and bridges, for instance).
The plant has a single 34 MW furnace with a capacity of 60,000 tons and is 34 years old—an impressive lifespan that is due in particular to careful plant management and rigorous maintenance.
Comilog Dunkerque is currently tackling two major challenges, the first being to modernize the site, especially the furnace, to make it more powerful and increase the plant’s annual production capacity by 20%.
Comilog Dunkerque has a significant advantage, both in terms of logistics, production and sales: its location! Its proximity to the port of Dunkirk facilitates the receipt of shipments of ore from Comilog and other sources.
By virtue of its location in continental Europe, in a major industrial region, Comilog Dunkerque is also very close to—one might even say on the doorstep of—most of its customers: France’s main steel production facility is located in Dunkirk.
The Comilog Dunkerque facility is determined to play an active role in protecting its environment and improving its industrial practices:
- The site is working to limit its energy consumption and adapts to accommodate the needs of the public grid when required. Access to a low-carbon energy mix, combined with government measures to support industry, means that the plant is able to keep its production costs low, which contributes in large part to its competitiveness.
- On-site rainwater collection: a new settling tank has been built to capture and decant rainwater before it is reused in the production process, thus reducing the site’s water consumption and eliminating wastewater.
- The dust emitted by the process is captured and transformed into briquettes before being recycled in the furnace or sold to the foundry industry.