UHP graphite electrode is made of high-grade needle coke and treated with Lengthwise Graphitization (LWG). The graphitization temperature can be up to 2800 °C – 3000 °C. Finished products have lower electrical resistance & linear expansion, good thermal shock resistance and allow a larger current density.
There are some key manufacturers in the industry, including Showa Denko K.K, Fangda Carbon New Material, GrafTech International, Graphite India Limited (GIL), HEG Limited, Tokai Carbon, SEC Carbon, Ltd, Energoprom Group, Jilin Carbon, Kaifeng Carbon, Nantong Yangzi Carbon, etc. The industry is dominated by two leading companies, Showa Denko K.K and GrafTech International. In 2020, the two companies provide nearly 161 K MT UHP graphite electrode respectively to the market, with 37.4% production share totally.
Significant and lasting barriers make entry into this market difficult and concentrated. These barriers include, but are not limited to: (i) product development costs; (ii) capital requirements; (iii) intellectual property rights; (iv) regulatory requirement; and (v) Transitions’ unfair methods of competition.
Global UHP Graphite Electrode Market: Application Analysis
EAF steelmaking is the main application field of graphite electrode. Looking forward over the next decade, EAF steelmaking production will be a big winner in the race to produce “green,” “carbon neutral” steel. European steel producers have worked diligently over the past two decades to reduce the carbon footprint of the steel produced through traditional integrated steelmaking, having accomplished the lowest levels possible from a scientific perspective. The only path available to them to further reduce their carbon emissions is to shift to EAF production using alternative metallics, diverting large capital investments that would have been used to sustain their blast furnace/basic oxygen furnace (BF/BOF) production with EAFs. In EAF steelmaking, the graphite electrode is used to conduct electric current into the furnace and the high temperature heat source for smelting is generated by arcing between the electrode and steel scraps.
The global UHP Graphite Electrode market was valued at US$ 6710.94 million in 2019 and it will reach US$ 7419.42 million by the end of 2026, growing at a CAGR of 2.21% during 2020-2026.
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