Reliable commissioning

In the rocky landscape next to the Black Sea, FLSmidth supplied a new production line for JSC Verhnebakanskiy Cement Plant. Commissioning is complete and the kiln has been running at full capacity from the beginning. Since Verhnebakanskiy wanted to enter the cement market as soon as possible, a rapid ramp-up to full production was crucial.

During the peak commissioning period there were more than 30 mechanical, chemical and electrical engineers onsite, experts from all over the world, everyone working together to ensure Verhnebakanskiy got up and running successfully and safely. The team worked in shifts around the clock to monitor the equipment. Their skill and experience contributed to the well-planned and well-executed start-up. Karsten Riisgaard-Andersen, commissioning manager at Verhnebakanskiy, explains, “The start-up process at Verhnebakanskiy went very smoothly because we planned and tested everything carefully in advance.”

Testing minor equipment
As commissioning started, Verhnebakanskiy was finalising the installation of a power plant for the new cement production line. Therefore, during the initial phase of testing, a temporary power supply was used.

To ensure rapid start-up, the team concen-trated on getting as much as possible of the minor equipment tested before the permanent power was available. The testing started with cold run tests of the equipment, such as conveyor belts, fans and local electrical panels. Start-up and testing of this equipment was successfully completed during March 2012.

Stanislav Adamenko, process engineer for the FLSmidth Russia supervision team, says: “There were no major problems with the minor equipment; we just had to adjust the belt conveyors when they were tested with the material.”

Commissioning progress
When the main power was available, com-missioning progress was fast. On 5 April 2012, only three weeks after the first test, the raw mill was started.

This ATOX 57.5 mill is one of the largest that FLSmidth has ever commissioned and only the second of its kind to be supplied to a Russian plant. For the raw material at Verhnebakanskiy (which is a mixture of marls and iron ores), the raw mill performance is 480 tph.

Shortly after the start-up, the mill operation was quite stable. After a few hours, the mill was stopped periodically to allow engineers to tighten the bolts. As a result, after the last round of tightening the bolts there was so much ground material that it filled 75% of the raw meal silo. This meant that it was time to start up the kiln.


FLSmidth supplied a complete ILC 2-support kiln with a single-string five-stage preheater, and an SF Cross-Bar® cooler. To fire fuel in the kiln, a Duoflex® burner for natural gas was supplied.

Stanislav Adamenko says, “Based on our experience, we modified the igniter because the quality of the Russian gas differs from other types of natural gas.”

On 1 May, the plant saw the first flame in the kiln and 4 days later the first clinker was produced. The kiln was running well, producing high-quality clinker.

First cement produced
FLSmidth supplied two UMS cement mills, each with a capacity of 180 tph. Since the rotary kiln was producing clinker very quickly, the cement mill was started on 17 May. After testing with material, the mill bolts were tightened right on schedule, and the first cement was produced successfully.

Also included in the commissioning was a complete packaging and palletising line. The FLSmidth VENTOMATIC system supplied has a capacity of 2,400 50 kg bags an hour.

The commissioning of this unit was conducted right on time without any problems, and the VENTOMATIC GEV-8 rotary packer, which is a proven solution in Russia, provided such a good and reliable performance that there were never any trucks waiting to have cement bags loaded.

Rapid production ramp up
The feed to the kiln was started on 4 May 2012, and the kiln was running on schedule at the target production of 6,200 tpd, which was also accomplished during the guarantee test in the beginning of July. In May and June, the runtime of the kiln was equally impressive between 80 and 100%. The kiln was handed over to the customer on 9 July after a successful performance guarantee test.

Reliable performance guaranteed
Overall, the commissioning at Verhne-bakanskiy went very smoothly. There were some minor challenges. One of those challenges was that the start-up of the equipment was successfully completed in the middle of March, but after feeding moist material, it was discovered that this material stuck to the internal walls of the crusher. Besides, the material spillage was registered and the material from the upper feeder was falling onto the lower feeder. As a result, the crusher was slightly modified and put into operation again. As with a few other minor challenges, the engineers made the correct adjustments to ensure that the plant was operating normally before passing it on to the customer.

The relatively cold climate at Verhnebakanskiy led FLSmidth and the client to agree on additional protection of some buildings and equipment against the cold. For example, the feeder to the raw mill and the feeder of additives to the cement mill were equipped with heat tracing (this means they have cables installed with heating). In addition, the burner platform is closed off, so no snow can fly in.

In October 2013, FLSmidth and JSC  Verhnebakansky plant signed a service contract for inspections and preventive maintenance of critical equipment, e.g. kiln, ball mills, vertical mill and cooler. The contract will be performed by global and local maintenance experts, largely including the specialists from FLSmidth’s Local Service Unit based in Kolomna.

Read more about project execution and related cases >

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