Towards sustainable solutions: The Akmenės Cementas Plant Project

March 24, 2023
MAB Akmenės Cementas, one of the largest cement producers in the Baltic States and the only one in Lithuania, has decided to modernise its alternative fuel system in order to make its cement production processes more efficient and to reduce the pollution caused by cement. TEC Group specialists are contributing to the project. TEC Industry project manager Linas Baliuckas, TEC Consulting representative Algirdas Čižiūnas and “AB Akmenės Cementas” representative, environmental engineer Lina Knataitienė, tell more about the work.


Aiming to reduce the fossil fuels by around 80%

The production process of clinker, the main component of cement, is extremely heat- energy consuming, requiring a huge amount of fuel. Currently, the main fuel used by “AB Akmenės Cementas” is coal. The company also uses municipal sewage sludge (dried), end-of-life tyres and solid recovered fuel (SRF) as energy fuels. In 2022, the Company burned about 88% of coal and about 12% of alternative fuels (non- hazardous waste).

“Coal is the most polluting fossil fuel, so in order to reduce the use of coal in production, it is aimed to burn alternative fuels, which are not scarce in Lithuania, and most of which cannot be recycled: transport tyres, shredded plastic waste, and sludge from urban wastewater treatment plants,” explains Mr. Baliuckas.

“AB Akmenės Cementas” aims to eliminate about 80% of fossil fuels (coal) by replacing them with alternative fuels, e.g. by starting to use larger quantities of solid recovered fuel (SRF), which is produced in accordance with the Company’s requirements from non-hazardous waste. Compared to coal, SRF emits twice less carbon dioxide (CO2), which makes it a particularly attractive fuel for the cement industry with its similar calorific value to coal.

For the construction drafted in the project, the Company has received funding from the Environmental Project Management Agency (EPA).

More efficient exploitation and the optimisation of production costs

The aim of the project is to reduce the environmental impact of the fuel used (coal), to improve the burning process as well as to ensure the stability of the clinker burning process. According to Mr. Čižiūnas, representative of TEC Consulting, in order to improve the efficiency of “AB Akmenės Cementas” dry clinker kiln, it is planned to install new engineering structures – a dust collection tank and a dust collection filter, as well as the auxiliary engineering systems necessary for the operation of these structures.

“The modernisation of the facilities will reduce the use of polluting fossil fuels (coal) and at the same time reduce the emission of greenhouse gases into the environment. Thus, the need for coal would be reduced by about 80% and greenhouse gas emissions would be reduced by about 30%,” says environmental engineer Lina Knataitienė

Project steps and stages

“The whole project is divided into two separate technical projects by the decision of the Builder. The first one includes the installation of an exhaust gas bypass and a dust silo from which dust will be dosed onto clinker and used for cement production. In addition, its planned to modernize the automated tyre feeding system,” shares representative of “AB Akmenės Cementas”.

Mrs. Knataitienė adds that “the second technical project includes the construction of a new storage building to store waste and waste dosing/disposal equipment. Next to the storage building, it is planned to install a receiving station for loose SRF and all the dosing equipment for the clinker burning rotary kiln. In addition, two buffer tanks are planned to be installed next to the main burner, from which the alternative fuel will be fed evenly into the main burner of the clinker burning rotary kiln.

The TEC Industry team in this project is working on the design (technical and detailed designs) of the auxiliary structures, buildings and engineering systems required for the installation of the technological equipment selected by the Builder. TEC Consulting UAB provides construction maintenance services to ensure proper and quality execution of the Contract Works and to comply with the construction project solutions.

“The first part of the project involved 9 designers. We have already prepared the Technical Design, obtained the building permit and prepared the Working Design. Construction is underway and nearing completion. Around 18 members of the TEC Industry team have already contributed to the second part of the project. The Technical Design has now been prepared, a positive expert opinion has been received and the application for a building permit is being prepared. We will soon start working on the detailed design,” says Linas Baliuckas, Project Manager at TEC Industry.

TEC Industry and TEC Consulting are members of the TEC Group, which also includes TEC Infrastructure. The group provides design, consulting, maintenance, project and construction management and other engineering services for transport infrastructure, industrial and energy facilities.