120 years of history in manufacturing carbon and synthetic graphite
CARBONE SAVOIE HAS BEEN MAKING CARBON AND ARTIFICIAL GRAPHITE FOR MORE THAN 100 YEARS
These days, century-old companies comparable to Carbone Savoie with almost 400 employees, skills recognised the world over and products exported to the four corners of the globe are rare indeed. Carbone Savoie’s survival has been possible because we continually reinvent ourselves and adapt:
- to the technical changes of each era;
to the state of the competition, with the opening up of new markets and the arrival of new players;
to changes in regulations which have had such an impact on our industries.
And so, throughout its long history, Carbone Savoie has manufactured all kinds of carbon and graphite (pastes, blocks, rings and powders) with highly-specialised technical characteristics for a very wide range of applications:
Soderberg pastes, graphite and carbon electrodes, nipples, pieces for blast furnaces in steelworks
ramming pastes, carbon and graphites cathodes
graphite powders for refractory, recarburation and car battery industries
Both Carbone Savoie’s management and employees are fully behind this wonderful adventure that began more than 100 years ago, and they continue to draw upon their incredible know-how in the design and manufacture of carbons and artificial graphites to be ready for tomorrow’s markets.
1897: The founding of one of the first chemical factories in France: « Les Carbures métalliques » at our Notre-Dame-de-Briançon
1898: The founding of the « Société Francaise des Electrodes » on what is now our Vénissieux site.
1910: The Société des Carbures Métalliques buys up the exploitation rights of a patent perfected by Dr Edward Acheson for the industrial production of artificial electrographite and starts production.
1920: The first production of carbon products for the aluminium industry. The electrochemical and the metallic carbides companies merge and become the Société des Électrodes de Savoie (SES).
1930: Purchase of the Vénissieux factory. Production is concentrated on the Notre-Dame-de-Briançon plant and the baking stage is transferred to the kilns at Vénissieux
1932: The creation of CISA (Compagnie Industrielle Savoie Acheson) which is a subsidiary of Union Carbide and SES.
1939: A workshop for manufacturing « Soderberg » paste is started up
1944: The factory suffers severe damage during the bombing of the nearby railway line.
1948: The first tunnel kiln for baking white refractory products comes on-line at the Vénissieux factory.
1952: The firm changes its name from SES and becomes the Société des Électrodes et Réfractaires de Savoie (SERS).
1963: The manufacture of calcium carbide is halted while the carbon business grows
1968: The manufacture of calcium carbide is halted while the carbon business grows
1971: CISA becomes Union Carbide France while SERS becomes a members of the Pechiney Ugine Kuhlmann group. The two branches separate. One side, CISA, manufactures graphite electrodes. The other specialises in the production of carbon and refractories in association with the Chedde plant which makes graphite.
1972: A research laboratory is built at Vénissieux.
1988: A centre for machining 900-1250 diameter electrodes comes on-line.
1993: The name of SERS is changed to Carbone Savoie.
1997: The Ucar Group buys a 70% stake in Carbone Savoie and the plants at Notre-Dame-de-Briançon and Vénissieux, the remaining 30% remains with the Pechiney group.
2004: The Canadian group Alcan buys out Pechiney.
2006: Aside from the graphite machining workshop, Carbone Savoie is bought out by the Alcan Group, which already had a 30% stake, on December 1, 2006.
2007: In October 2007, Alcan is taken over by Rio Tinto to create the world leader in aluminium under the name Rio Tinto Alcan.
2010: The RTO technology is built to process fumes.
2013: Carbone Savoie adds a new RTO at Vénissieux to cut emissions by 90%.
2016: Carbone Savoie is taken over by Alandia Industries and begins a re-industrialisation phase by reopening the impregnation and baking plants and redeveloping speciality graphites.
Our thanks to our amateur historians for keeping the memory of Carbone Savoie alive. We would like to thank in particular La Léchère Town Hall and Mr Pozzalo for sharing their picture base.