Iraq has in recent years experienced a great need for cement for rehabilitation and construction projects, particularly in the Kurdistan region. So far, these projects have been heavily reliant on importing cement from neighbouring countries, which has led to relatively high spending in foreign currencies.
The desire to reduce this burden while simultaneously increasing local employment is providing opportunities for local investors. One such opportunity was in the governorate of Najaf, where the KAR company has established a 6,000 tonnes-per-day greenfield cement plant, which includes the first FLSmidth OK™ 54-6 Cement Mill.
The contract between FLSmidth and the KAR company was signed in the beginning of 2012, when FLSmidth was appointed as the sole engineering and procurement (EP) provider of all necessary equipment for the greenfield plant, including production machinery, engineering services, and firefighting and water treatment systems. The main components of the plant were manufactured in various countries, including Germany, United Kingdom, Spain, Turkey and Denmark. Post-production, parts manufactured in Turkey were mainly trucked directly to the plant, while components produced overseas were mainly shipped to Umm Qasr and finally trucked to the plant in the Rahimia area, approximately 20 kilometres from Najaf.
All major equipment was delivered within the contractual time and the plant successfully began producing cement in mid-2016. But it is not just the smooth-running project that was noteworthy. The KAR Cement plant boasts the world’s largest FLSmidth OK Mill in operation to date installed for cement grinding. Featuring six rollers and 7800 kilowatts of installed power, the mill is designed to produce 320 tonnes per hour of OPC at 3200 Blaine.
The commissioning of the largest FLSmidth OK Mill to date brought certain challenges, for example the MAAG® WPV gearbox, which was so large that it required two cranes to lift it onto the mill foundation. However, with a commissioning team supervising the process, the overall set-up ran smoothly and efficiently. The mill design, which includes partial-concrete mill stands, facilitates easy installation and alignment of the steel parts.
The guaranteed production and availability was quickly reached with the OK Mill starting up in August 2016 and performance guarantee testing completed shortly after. During the commissioning period, the mill was fully optimised for the lowest power consumption and additional optimisation tests were completed, including one test using grinding aid that boosted capacity by 10 to 15 percent over the guarantee.
When asked why one large cement mill had been the preferred choice, Hussein Al-Shammary, Cement Projects Manager at KAR Cement, explained:
“By applying new technology and opting for the one-mill solution, we experienced a reduction in total project costs.”
He is impressed by the OK Mill’s large production capacity and FLSmidth’s support through the project. “FLSmidth has vast experience with cement plants, which greatly supports our project,” he says.
Brian Toft Christensen, Project Manager at FLSmidth is highly satisfied with the project: “The EP project was a great experience with almost no complications. It has been a great success. Despite being the biggest in operation, the KAR Cement OK mill started like all other OK Mills - smooth and easy. All performance guarantees were fulfilled and the commissioning team was able to return home for the end-of-year holidays.
“A special thank you to KAR Cement for choosing the FLSmidth OK Mill for this project and sharing the experience of another smooth start.”
Brian Toft Christensen