East African Portland Cement Plc has commenced the replacement of its kiln shell as it seeks to increase its productivity to over 1400 tonnes per day.
The firm’s burning zone, which has been operating since 1996, has been damaged for quite some time. This has resulted in product shortages in the market due to difficulties with the dilapidated equipment in the clinkering process.
“Due to the high costs of energy and an old clinker line, the board has prioritized efficiency and reliability of our integrated plant operations to drive cost optimization,” Oliver Kirubai, Managing Director, E. A Portland Cement.
The project, expected to last 45 days, began with pre- shutdown activities in June 2022 and officially kicked off on July 25.
The nerve of East African Portland Cement operations is the kiln where a raw mix of limestone, kunkur, bauxite and iron-ore is fed and burned up to 1450 °C to form a clinker which is the intermediate product of cement.
The 54m long kiln is divided into different zones reflecting different reactions taking place; at the extreme exit end is the burning zone where hot gases are intensive.
The burning zone, which is extensively damaged, will replace 16.5 meters section in the ongoing kiln shell replacement project.
Kenya currently has 13 cement plants with only four cement plants with integrated clinkering and capabilities. The ongoing kiln shell replacement is expected to sustain EAPC-PLC competitiveness in the market.
According to Head of Plant Operations at EAPC-PLC, Stanley Irungu, the Blue Triangle Cement will still be available, and customers will continue enjoying the provision of quality cement as the kiln upgrade project continues.