Getting a cement plant to run competitively is not just a question of proper management. Achieving low operating costs, reliability, profitability and a smooth, quick start-up begins in the design phase.
You can’t have a cement plant without locally available raw materials, but it’s not enough simply to establish that the materials are available – they have to be the right materials for the job. Proper raw materials testing will help you determine not only the chemical composition of the materials, but also the moisture content, hardness and abrasiveness. This has an obvious impact on the crusher and raw mill, so is an important part of selecting the proper wear protection.
As well as ensuring you have the money to go ahead with the project, it’s also important to check whether the funding parties have additional requirements. For example, some institutions will require that the plant have low energy consumption and low CO2 emissions. These things can’t be magicked up once the plant is built; they have to be considered in the design phase.
Consider what cements you will produce. Have a look at the local market – is there a gap that you could fill, or are you better being guided by what’s most popular? Obtain competitor samples to assess their properties. What will be your USP? It may even be the form in which you supply the product – it depends what the main market is locally. Do your due diligence.
Standards and regulations
There is a lot of admin involved in building a new cement plant – and none of it should be ignored. Following the local building standards and regulations is critical to getting a plant signed off by the building inspector. The same applies to electrical, civil and structural, mechanical and health and safety design. Any omissions will result in delays to the plant start-up – or worse – and even small delays can carry a significant financial impact. Your suppliers are responsible for checking that their product is ‘fit for purpose’ in the country where your plant is being built. Choose wisely, and always ask for the relevant certifications. Ultimately, if a regulatory body takes issue with any aspect of your plant, it will be up to you to resolve it.
Ask for help
Even for experienced industry professionals, setting up a new cement plant can be a daunting process. If you have any questions, or want help to make sure you get the design right first time, give JAMCEM a call.