Arabian Cement Company (ACC Ramliya) in Egypt was challenged by unstable fuel supplies causing interrupted clinker production, but an upgrade to an ATOX® coal mill solved the problem and today, the production is running smoothly.
Private cement plants in Egypt experience very unstable fuel supplies and it is not unusual that the production is at a standstill several weeks each month. To overcome this situation, ACC Ramliya contacted FLSmidth for a coal mill installation to compensate for the current shortage of natural gas, which was the plant's primary fuel.
"Our goal was to have the first coal mill in Egypt to restore our clinker production capacity, so that we could benefit from the current shortage of cement in the Egyptian market due to the ongoing energy crisis. Therefore, we operated with a very tight schedule," explains Saeed Abou Hussain, Project Manager at ACC Ramliya.
ACC Ramliya coal mill 25/27.5 has sufficient capacity to run one of the plant's two grey lines 100 percent and the other line 50 percent
However, being the first cement plant in Egypt to use coal, combined with the fact that no one in Egypt had experience with coal in terms of operation, maintenance and installation, meant that the plant needed to build their own learning curve. Besides, ACC Ramliya was obliged to ensure the necessary permissions to import coal, before the project could start-off, and due to the revolts in Egypt at the time, this phase prolonged the project. But with the necessary permissions in hand, the project was designed in record time by FLSmidth.
In fact FLSmidth managed to send the necessary information to the plant within the first month, which enabled the plant to start up the civil construction very quickly. Generally, it takes several months to design a corresponding solution.
"As always we have had a smooth and fruitful co-operation with FLSmidth. We have now been running with coal for six month and can safely say that the coal solution has met our expectations to a great extent," - Saeed Abou Hussain, Project Manager at ACC Ramliya
The Project Manager adds that ACC cement even has started new projects to maximize the benefits of the coal installation.
Fast and flexible solution
The solution is a so-called low solution meaning below 30 meters tall, which is the preferred solution, when possible, as it enhances safety and ensures easier maintenance. The solution consists of an ATOX coal mill size 25 with sufficient capacity to run one of ACC Ramliya's two grey lines 100 percent and the other line 50 percent.
Besides, the solution consists of a new coal dosing system for line 1 calciner to fully utilize the mill production and to run both kilns, at reduced capacity, during natural gas blackouts. Currently, the coal mill is getting hot gas from line 2, but to secure the operation during line two shutdowns, a new hot gas duct from line 1 has been installed.
Additionally, the plant already has an alternative fuel installation for the calciner on line 2, and recently ACC has bought a HOTDISC® for the calciner on line 1. The erection and installation of the HOTDISC has just started up. Flexibility is key, and with the possibility of using coal, alternative fuel or HOTDISC, ACC Ramliya has overcome the challenges with unstable supplies of natural gas, and is now able to keep the production running independently of natural gas.
As other private cement plants in Egypt experience the same challenges with unstable fuel supplies, FLSmidth has sold and are presently installing similar solutions to three other cement plants: Wadi el Nile, ESCC Al Soukhna and Sinai Grey.
The coal mill solution means that ACC Ramliya has overcome the challenges with unstable supplies of natural gas
Facts about ACC Ramliya's Coal mill solution
• ACC cement plant and FLSmidth have cooperated since 2005.
• ACC cement plant is capable of producing 12000 tpd of clinker.
• The ATOX coal mill uses up to 60 tons of raw coal per hour. The raw coal is transported to the plant by trucks.
• The initial discussions started in 2011, but the actual project did not start until 2013 and finished in 2014.
• Presently, the coal mill solution has run smoothly since august 2014.
• The equipment in the solution consists of:
o Transport of raw coal from coal storage to raw coal bins
o Raw coal bins
o Pfister® dosing and transport of raw coal to coal mill
o ATOX coal mill size 25 and bag filter
o Transport of finished product to fine coal bins
o Fine coal bins
o Pfister dosing and transport of fine coal to kilns and calciners