South African construction materials group Afrisam has officially unveiled its vertical roller mill (VRM), the first of its kind in Southern Africa to be used for cement milling, at its newly expanded Roodepoort, Gauteng, cement production facility.
The new VRM, the eighth mill to be built on the site since 1936, will increase cement milling capacity by 120tph, adding to the existing three ball mills’ 80tph capacity. This will bring the facility’s total production capacity to about 1.5Mta.
Meanwhile, a new silo will increase cement storage capacity by 15 000t.
However, this extra capacity will go unused initially, Afrisam COO: cement Dr Stephan Olivier tells Engineering News, attri- buting this to the demand- diminishing effects of the global economic downturn.
However, he expects that cement demand will rise again and that the investment will prove beneficial in the long term, when the extra capacity will be needed.
For now, the VRM will handle the primary milling demands of the plant, while the three older and less efficient ball mills will stand ready in anticipation of increased demand, explains Olivier.
The VRM was also installed to improve operational effi- ciency and reduce the facility’s energy consumption levels.
The VRM was sourced from mill supplier Loesche South Africa, owing to the low main- tenance costs and efficient operation that the Loesche mills provide, Oliver says.
“This VRM consumes 20% to 30% less energy for every ton of cement produced than the traditional ball mills and will help us decrease our carbon footprint,” says Olivier. “Further, the grinding and classifying take place in one unit, whereas ball mills have separate units.”