Nordkalk has invested over 150 million zlotys in Poland
Modern management of an aggregate mining and production plant is a real challenge. The “white mining” industry is struggling with the image of a sector where innovation is scarce to find. Nothing could be further from the truth. In the last decade companies have implemented a number of innovations, both at the level of production technology and management, and Nordkalk company is a good example.
It is estimated that Poland’s annual extraction of aggregate oscillates around 300 million tonnes. The rather dispersed market for aggregates consists of many smaller operators the vast majority of whom produce for the domestic market. Aggregate mining is one of the most important sectors of the Polish economy, providing raw materials, including limestone, that are of strategic importance and necessary for the development of the economy.
Scandinavian quality combined with Polish management efficiency
A company with Scandinavian roots, Nordkalk has been operating in Poland since the 1990s. The groundbreaking moment was the purchase of Kieleckie Zakłady Przemysłu Wapienniczego (The Kielce Limestone Processing Plant) in Miedzianka. Thereafter, Nordkalk entered a period of intensive investment to modernize its Polish processing plants and limestone mines. In total, throughout the company’s operations in Poland, more than PLN 154 million was invested to modernize the production and upgrade the management systems.
– We are one of the biggest limestone producers in Poland with access to our own resources. Limestone is one of the strategic raw materials for the economy, used in many key sectors – from construction, through industry, to agriculture and power generation – said Piotr Maciak, the CEO of Nordkalk Polska. – The important role played by limestone producers in Poland would not be possible without intensive modernization efforts. The investments were aimed at optimizing production, reducing waste in line with the “zero waste” principle, introducing new product categories, improving the safety of employees, as well as reducing emissions and the impact of operations on the environment and the population – he added.
As an example, the company cites the new production line launched in Wolica. – We have invested into a modern, semi mobile crushing and screening unit, consisting of a crushing station, screening station, hopper and belt conveyors. The semi mobility of the set means that it can be moved to different levels of the mine, depending on the availability of raw material, which allows for significant optimisation of production processes,” said Piotr Maciak. Other examples are the investments into the plant in Sławno and the largest one in Miedzianka.
Thanks to these investments Nordkalk is able to supply aggregate of high quality. Nordkalk’s aggregate (LS fractions 2/8 and 8/16) is used in the production of concrete, concrete products, prefabricated elements and paving stones.
– For the customers for this product, the key importance is its homogeneous chemical composition, which causes the formation of an additional hydratation bond between the cement slurry and the aggregate, which improves the strength parameters of concrete and saves cement – explained Piotr Maciak.
Straight from nature
LS aggregates are natural, washed aggregates produced on the basis of broken limestone from the Ostrówka deposit in Miedzianka. The material belongs to the group of Devonian sedimentary carbonate rocks, formed over 400 million years ago. The raw material has very good physical parameters, as evidenced by its compressive strength which is 80-140 MPa. The high quality of the rock is directly reflected in the quality of the aggregates produced from it.
Co-operation with academies in the area of research
Nordkalk cooperates on an ongoing basis with the AGH University of Science and Technology in Cracow and the Technical University of Lodz. The co-operation with the Technical University of Lodz resulted, among other things, in testing and research of a modern granulating line in Sławno. The tests were aimed at developing a unique technology of granulation and selecting an appropriate binder enabling to obtain the correct physical and mechanical parameters.
– The Sławno plant produces fertiliser granulate based on high quality Late Jurassic limestone extracted from a neighbouring mine. The use of machines of German manufacturer Eirich and Nordkalk’s technologically advanced know-how allows supplying lime fertilizer granulate to the agricultural sector in Poland and to the export markets. Due to the innovativeness of the project developed in co-operation with the Technical University of Lodz, the investment could obtain the status of the special economic zone – says Piotr Maciak.
The company also implements modern management systems aimed at ensuring product quality, plant efficiency and employee safety. Among others, Nordkalk has the ISO 9001 Quality Certificate, the ISO 14001 Environmental Certificate, the OHSAS 18001 Occupational Health and Safety Certificate in place. The above certificates cover the whole Nordkalk Group. In 2019, the company implemented an organisational and cost optimisation programme at the Miedzianka plant, consisting of a detailed analysis of all processes in the company in terms of production optimisation, which resulted in more efficient use of machinery, improved the internal transport and efficiency of material reaching 98 per cent.
Piotr Maciak, CEO of Nordkalk Polska
Last Updated on May 17, 2021 by Łukasz