Going alternative in Japan
With Japanese cement demand falling over the past 20 years, Sumitomo Osaka Cement has constantly evolved its cement manufacturing processes. As a result, the company’s Ako integrated cement plant stepped up its use of alternative fuels and raw materials as part of its efforts to reduce costs and the impact of plant emissions. By Tetsuo Yokobori, Sumitomo Osaka Cement, Japan.
Sumitomo Osaka Cement (SOC)’s Ako cement plant is an integrated works located some 300km from its limestone mine and close to the key Japanese cement markets of Osaka and Kobe. For these markets, the Ako works produces a range of cements, including early-strength cement, medium-heat cement and slag cement.
Since its first commissioning some 50 years ago, the plant has undergone many changes. Today it operates two production lines, a 4800tpd NSP line modified from a semi-dry Repol process in 1981 and a 7800tpd line started in 1976.