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Revising for the future

Published by , Editorial Assistant
World Cement,

In December 2017, the construction of one of the largest and most modern pretreatment platforms in Europe was completed in Kujawy by Lafarge Poland, a subsidiary of the LafargeHolcim Group. Kujawy is located in north central Poland, approximately 150 km from the country’s capital, Warsaw. The project was an integral part of Lafarge Poland’s 10-year investment programme in the Pomeranian Special Economic Zone (PSEZ), increasing in employment opportunities in this area. The investment for the new platform reached nearly €14 million.

The entire project is overseen by Geocycle, LafargeHolcim’s global waste management business. Thanks to co-processing, Geocycle together with LafargeHolcim cement plants offer a unique waste management solution which ensures simultaneous mineral recycling and energy recovery of the waste content. This industrial application of the circular economy principles commits to stringent European and international standards and offers the best environmental performances. It also ensures one of the best final treatment solutions for waste, which are not recyclable with traditional technologies.

Developed 40 years ago in Europe, co-processing is now widely used and continuously improved all around the world. Not only does this process contribute to limiting the volume of waste dumped on landfills locally, but it also reduces greenhouse gas emissions and allows a greater independence from fossil fuels. Co-processing leaves no residues as the ashes become incorporated into the clinker, the basis of cement, and the waste products are used as a direct substitute for fossil fuels and other raw materials.

In 2017, LafargeHolcim built three new major waste treatment facilities in Kujawy (Poland), El Sokhna (Egypt), and Oum Azza (Morocco). In Poland, the Kujawy cement plant is reaching 80% of energy substitution and is targeting even higher levels. To reach such levels, the quality of waste is crucial to guarantee stable operations of clinker furnaces and proper quality of cement production. For that reason, the decision was made to invest in the facility and expertise to ensure the right waste quality for co-processing at the plant.

The platform has two main objectives. The first consists of pretreating the waste sources before injection in the kiln in order to be compliant with the technical specifications of cement production and environmental standards. Secondly, it offers a huge storage hall with the capacity for 1200 t of pretreated waste.

Modern technologies

The nominal potential output of the platform is 160 000 t of pretreated waste every year. The workshop has a cumulative storage capacity (inbound and outbound) of more than 2000 t, meaning that more than 3 days of co-processing (2 days at the input storage and 1 day at the output storage), is enough to cover a long weekend and provide continuity of service to customers. In addition, 4000 t of filmed bales, which corresponds to a full week of co-processing, can be stored outside. The household and industrial waste materials mainly come from local waste collectors (municipal solid waste and industrial waste sources). In this way it contributes to the improvement of environmental protection in the area.

The platform relies on modern technologies, which allows it to produce top quality materials for co-processing. The installation is fitted with a Metso 4000S-HP pre-shredder with a capacity of 35 tph and two secondary Lindner Power Komet 2800HP shredders offering a maximum output of up to 18 tph. The heart of the system is the largest Nihot DDS-2000 windshifter in Poland, working at a maximum capacity of 40 tph.

This pretreatment process enables the production of two types of material to be used for co-processing in the Kujawy Cement Plant: one with high calorific value of up to 22 GJ/t and granulation of under 40 mm is injected in the main burner, the other type presents lower calorific value (15 GJ/t) and higher granulometry and can be used at the calciner.

LafargeHolcim’s 10-year investment in Poland

In 2008, Lafarge Poland was granted an official authorisation to start investing in the Pomeranian Special Economic Zone. As part of the process, the company committed to spending E 95 million. The project ended officially in early 2018 and the company’s investment outlays for the modernisation and expansion of the Kujawy Cement Plant which exceeded over E 99 million. It also contributed to the creation of several new jobs at the company and the same number of jobs at Lafarge’s contractors, suppliers, and service providers. The completion of the construction of the pretreatment platform was an important part of this investment.

“The projects executed in the Pomeranian Special Economic Zone are significant investments for the LafargeHolcim Group,” said Gilbert Roth, Cement and Aggregates Industrial Director, Lafarge Poland. “In the past decade, we have completed several innovative projects at the Kujawy Cement Plant to create one of the most modern facilities in the world. We want to keep pace with the constantly growing market, whilst taking care of the environment at the same time. We’re investing in new technologies to optimise production processes and offer our customers top quality products and services. I’m thrilled to celebrate the completion of this important project together with our guests and colleagues.”

Investment in environment protection (€25 million)
As part of environment protection projects at PSEZ, LafargeHolcim modernised filters and closed storage halls for raw materials used in the production of clinker, cement, and fuels in the Kujawy Cement Plant. This innovative solution has been implemented in only a few plants around the world. Additionally, a clinker silo and four cement silos were built in Kujawy. The environment protection investments in the plant included the construction of a modern pretreatment platform. All of these upgrades to the Kujawy Cement Plant led to significant reduction of fugitive dust and ten times lower emission of dust than previously (up to 3 mg/m3).

Investment in new production technologies (€56 million)
Along with the projects increasing the level of environmental protection, LafargeHolcim also made significant investment in modern production technologies, that enhanced the production processes. Installation of a new vertical cement mill, along with energy supply, and the fitting of an in-line calciner with an extended fuel burning time required an investment of E 56 million. Moreover, the company implemented innovative solutions to enable constant monitoring of the entire production process, combustion, and emission.

Investment in the quality of products and customer service (€18 million)
With the intention to improve the quality of products and customer service, several vital investments were carried out in Kujawy. LafargeHolcim introduced separate milling of raw materials for the production of cement, mixing and transport, as well as two modern terminals for loading bulk cement in the plant. Additional weighbridge and self-service bulk cement lading systems were installed. The company has also invested in construction and apparatuses for a modern, automated laboratory. Moreover, the plant has been equipped in installations for extraction and reduction of materials in the production process, e.g. chlorine.


New technologies and investments in innovation are priorities for Lafarge Poland. These initiatives allow the company to meet the growing market, while caring for the environment. LafargeHolcim’s investments are distinguished by focusing on sustainable solutions that result in minimising the company’s impact on the environment and maximising customer satisfaction. Lafarge Poland is now well positioned to serve the local market with quality and sustainable products for many years to come.

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LafargeHolcim news European cement news Cement news 2018