A solution with the wellbeing of staff at its heart

During design/engineering of a new cement grinding station for Arghakhanchi Cement in Nepal, the location of the OK™ mill had to be changed to accommodate existing infrastructure at the plant. This resulted in the need for an additional conveyor with material transfer tower for handling clinker and gypsum from the existing hoppers.

That posed a problem for Arghakhanchi Cement, as the new material transfer point would be in close proximity to the staff living quarters. The additional conveyor also had to cross a road to get to the new mill location. The company was concerned that dust and noise emissions from the transfer point would have a negative impact on the wellbeing of its employees, while dust spillage onto the road would also pose problems. As a result, the company decided to ask us to design an alternative solution.

We have had a close relationship with Arghakhanchi Cement, since executing its new 2200 tpd clinker line 2 at Siyari-2 in central Nepal. The contracts for both the new clinker line and grinding station were awarded in 2016. We commissioned the clinker line in 2018 and completed the grinding station commissioning in 2019. 

This relationship has built trust between us and the Arghakhanchi Cement team. So, when we proposed a solution that would be a first not only for the company, but also for Nepal, the company gave us the opportunity to again prove what we could do. That first-in-Nepal solution? A pipe conveyor
cement 1

Achieving the goals but not without some challenges

Our pipe conveyor solution hit all of Arghakhanchi Cement’s criteria for material transport to the new grinding station. Pipe conveyors offer an environmentally-friendly and cost-effective material handling option, guaranteeing dust-free operation with minimum noise. By choosing a pipe conveyor at Arghakhanchi Cement, the company was able to safeguard the wellbeing of its staff and prevent dust emissions.

The new solution also simplified the whole material transport system, as the need for a transfer tower and additional conveyor was eliminated. This simpler solution brings a number of benefits – from lower initial capital costs to increased reliability and reduced operating and maintenance costs. 

The pipe conveyor formed part of a complete new cement grinding station that we supplied to Arghakhanchi Cement, including:

  • Weigh feeders
  • Pipe conveyor
  • OK 40-4 cement mill
  • Process and dedusting bag filters
  • Eight-spout rotary packer
  • Truck-loading system
  • Complete electrical, instrumentation and plant control systems

In addition to the grinding station, we have also supplied a complete 2200 tpd clinker production line to Arghakhanchi Cement, supporting the company’s vision to become a leading supplier of reliably high-quality cement to the construction industry of Nepal.

Installation of the 200mm dia. pipe conveyer was not without its challenges, however. To reach the new grinding station, the pipe conveyor has to make a horizontal curve with 55m radius and steep incline immediately after exiting the hoppers. The usual lower limit for horizontal curves in pipe conveyor installations is a 60m radius. To allow for the tightness of the curve, the drive pulley was lagged with ceramic lagging, instead of the usual rubber, to improve the coefficient of friction with the belt. The snub pulley was also removed and the take-up was adjusted to fit the existing buildings in the feed area. 

The curved section also posed a challenge to the fabricator of the steel gantry structure, as it had no experience of manufacturing a curved structure. With support from our onsite experts, we were able to work with the fabricator to ensure quality standards were met. 

In addition to the 55m radius curve, in one location, clearance from an existing building was just 3 inches! In this area, we discontinued the supporting steel structures as the pipe conveyor passes the building – an unusual solution that required strengthening of the supporting structure either side. But it worked well and meant no modification was required to the existing building.

Building a foundation for the future 

With the resolution of these problems and with installation complete, the pipe conveyor was commissioned at full load within a day. It and the rest of the grinding station have now been operating to Arghakhanchi Cement’s satisfaction since February 2019.

“We have had a good relationship with the customer in the past and, with the successful commissioning of the pipe conveyor, that relationship has been nurtured further. We look forward to the opportunity to support Arghakhanchi Cement again in the future as a reliable one-source solution provider of choice,” said G. Kanagasabai, Project Manager, FLSmidth. 

“The protection of our staff and the environment is a primary concern to us. The solution offered by FLSmidth, as well as their ability to engineer that solution to fit the specific requirements of our plant, makes sure that we take care of both. We are proud to have installed the first pipe conveyor in Nepal. FLSmidth have proven again to be a reliable solutions provider and we are confident that our relationship will continue into the future.”

Krishna PandeyDeputy General Manager & Plant Head, Arghakhanchi Cement Pvt. Ltd.

About Arghakhanchi Cement Pvt. Ltd

  • Began clinker production in 2010 at Mainahiya in Nepal
  • Products include ordinary Portland cement 
  • Joint venture between Siddhartha Group, Kedia Group and Murarka Group of Nepal and Uma Cement international (India) as foreign Investment
  • Currently operates 2 lines with 400+ employees

Read more about the company

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