The Lafarge Mannersdorf cement plant in Mannersdorf, Austria, is one of two Lafarge facilities in the central European country. In this plant visit report, plant manager Dr Joseph Kitzweger provides a detailed run-down of the plant's history, production process, use of alternative fuels, environmental performance, products and distribution. Dr Kitzweger also gives his frank assessment of the Austrian cement market and his thoughts on the EU Emissions Trading scheme.
Global Cement (GC): Could you give a brief history of the development of the Mannersdorf site?
Joseph Kitzweger (JK): There are four key dates for this site. The first was the founding of an industrial site here in 1894. The second was the first rotary kiln, which came in 1904. From that time onwards there were only wet kilns until the first dry line in 1968.
It was kiln No. 8, a KHD four-stage preheater line with a capacity of around 1800t/day or 0.8Mt/yr of cement. It was a classic design that was very common at the time. Its implementation enabled a saving in terms of energy but also led to an increase in throughput. The final key date is 1984 because we moved to a pre-calciner system, the current line.
The plant and production process
GC: Can you explain more about the current clinker production line?
JK: The current line is a Parallel Air Serial Combustion (PASEC) system. It is rare because only a few were ever built by a joint venture between Voest Alpine Austria and the Eastern German company Sket ZAB Dessau. The new line made further energy savings and an increased capacity in line with market demand. At that time there were already considerations in this region with regard to saving energy. Even in the early 1980s energy was becoming at lot more expensive than the late 1960s when the earlier KHD line No. 8 was installed.
The line has a lot of cyclones and there are two strings. The gas is parallel but the material jumps around through six cyclones in each string. It is relatively complicated but it was built in that way to bring down the specific heat consumption. The original design had an exhaust temperature of less than 300°C, very low indeed. With the changes that we have made to the line since then, including the introduction of alternative fuels, the exhaust temperature is now slightly higher, around 330°C and the specific heat consumption is also higher due to the use of alternative fuels.
The kiln's rated capacity is 2730t/day, which is around 0.9Mt/yr of clinker or 1.4Mt/yr of cement. That is the maximum capacity that we could run at if we removed alternative fuels from the system. With the alternative fuels you inevitably introduce a lower heat value, some moisture and additional air. All this leads to a reduction of the theoretical capacity to around 2500t/day, which is around 0.8Mt/yr of clinker or 1.2Mt/yr of cement.
GC: Can you explain the material flow before and after the line itself?
JK: We have two quarries, one of which contains >95% CaCO3 limestone and one of which contains clay. The limestone from the Leitha mountains is actually very famous in Vienna because it was used in many of the old buildings, including St. Stefan's Cathedral in the centre of the city. This is what we use today for our cement.
In the limestone quarry we have a single Komatsu WA 800 haul truck with a 13m3 bucket that feeds a 700t/hr mobile crusher from O&K. The loader operates for 8hr/day and it is the most time-critical step in the quarry operation. We have to move the crusher from time to time so that the loader can move all of the necessary material within a single day-shift.
Between the limestone quarry and the plant is Mannersdorf. The material is transported by belt through the town over a distance of 1.5km. There used to be an overhead cable-car system. The clay is from a clay pit just beside the plant. However, it contains a small amount of pyrite so we have to selectively mine the clay in order to manage that. We also had to install a calcium hydroxide injection system in order to manage our SO2 emissions.
However, in 2005 we changed our strategy and started to replace the clay partly with recycled clay bricks. This is one of our most important contributions to recycling. More than 100,000t/yr of brick waste from end-of-life buildings in the Vienna area has replaced 50% of our natural clay usage. We mix the natural clay in layers with the bricks; clay, bricks, clay, bricks and so on. Then we excavate the mixture, which acts as our clay 'raw' material.
Continuing with the flow, the material from the quarry, the clay bricks from the Vienna area and other materials meet in the raw mix hall, which has a capacity of 40,000t. This is sufficient capacity to continue production over the weekend and avoid working second and third shifts in the quarry.
The 250t/hr KHD raw mill system comprises a hammer pre-crusher with a roller press. The raw meal silos are 6000t. There is a 5% chlorine bypass with exit gas going to the main stack. We need this to reduce heavy clogging in the pre-heater tower.
The kiln is the PASEC system that I mentioned. To help with reliability we have a close partnership with ELIN Motoren, the supplier of our main kiln motors, which allows us to reduce equipment downtime.
Post kiln, we have four clinker silos, with a total capacity of 135,000t. We have two cement ball mills. One was produced by FLSmidth (60t/hr) and it operates with a KHD roller press. The other is from Krupp Polysius. It has a third-generation separator and an average output of 115t/hr. They have a combined capacity of 175t/hr. There are 10 cement silos with a combined storage of 54,000t. Each silo is dedicated to one of our nine different types of cement.
GC: Does that mean that you can't change the plant's cement product portfolio easily?
JK: We can change the product mix in terms of output but only over a short term. As we have nine types of cement in 10 silos, we really have to plan properly if we want to change the overall long-term offering. We can only change the proportions of our output in big steps due to the silos. However, offering nine different types of cement to our customers is quite a remarkable and flexible offering.
From the 10 silos, there are seven bulk-loading stations, which date from the 1968 line. There are six for trucks and one for trains. It is very useful for us to dispatch our products over a wide area. One of the threats, from the perspective of our neighbours, is a high number of truck movements. However, 46% of our material comes in by train, which would obviously not be possible without the rail line. This is a good benefit to our neighbours.
There are also two Haver & Boecker bagging systems, one 4000bags/hr, one 2200bags/hr, which came along in 1999. They pack our cement into 25kg bags, which are then stacked using two Beumer palletisers. Most of the output goes out of the plant by truck. Only a small volume, say less than 5%, leaves the plant by train. The use of train would spike in the event of a major project contract.
GC: What is the production regime at the plant?
JK: In recent years, production has been just over 1Mt/yr. As with most European plants, we have one month of stoppage in the winter, in our case in February, when the weather is cold. In February 2013 we had a short stoppage for repairs to both cement mills. It was mainly classic shutdown work, including changing some refractory in the kiln, some shotcreting in the preheater and some general maintenance. We may also have a second kiln shutdown in October depending on the market.
GC: Are there any production process changes planned for the next 12 months?
JK: There are no plans to change the process here in the near future.
GC: Can you provide an overview of the use of alternative fuels at the Mannersdorf plant?
JK: Certainly. The plant began using alternative fuels in 1996, when the use of animal meal and liquid fuels was developed here. Over time the plant has increased rapidly from 10% in 1998 to 27% in 2000, 35% in 2002, 40% in 2004, 45% in 2010 and now more than 60% since 2012. (See Figure 1).
GC: How have the types of alternative fuels changed over the years?
JK: In the beginning, from 1996 until the mid 2000s the plant burnt mainly animal meal, liquid fuels and a small amount of RDF. In the mid 2000s Lafarge and the Austrian waste processing firm Saubermacher set up a joint venture facility close to the Lafarge Retznei plant to produce Solid Shredded Waste (SSW). Today it supplies around 100,000t/yr of SSW, mainly to Lafarge. It sources its waste from eastern Austria.
GC: Is there any technical reason that means that SSW is not refuse-derived fuel (RDF)?
JK: No. If someone outside Lafarge looked at our SSW, they would call it RDF. They are the same thing. (This article will refer to this type of fuel as RDF in all cases except for the explanation given above).
The RDF source with Saubermacher was developed in response to our need for a stable supply of alternative fuels. When cement plants started to work with alternative fuels they started to realise that maintaining regularity of quality and composition was key. The cement has to be a stable quality for our customers. If we want to use alternative fuels but don't have a stable supply of fuel, then that is a big threat to the cement plant. The Saubermacher joint venture provides security in terms of our alternative fuel quality and quantity for Lafarge in Austria. We have no interruptions. Since the start of the joint venture we have burnt larger and larger amounts of RDF. Now we are up to 55% RDF as stated above.
GC: What alternative fuels were used in 2013?
JK: In 2013 we burnt >50% RDF, around 5% animal meal and around 5% sunflower shells. The remainder is petcoke or coal. In addition we use around 15% recycled raw materials. We burn petcoke, coal, RDF and sunflower shells in the calciner burners at a total combined substitution rate of 80-90%. We burn all of these fuels plus animal meal in the main burner at a total rate of 40-60%.
We also have a permit to burn hazardous waste, which usually comes in the form of what we call impregnated solid fuel (ISF). This ISF comes from industrial workshops and typically consists of wood shavings and waste oils – Imagine what is swept from the floor of an oily workshop. The ISF is fed through the same type of dosing system as the RDF, which, like all our dosing and feeding systems for alternative fuels, is from Schenck Process. We have one Schenck Multidos, one Schenck Multiflex and another Multiflex with Z-mover,
We change the minority fuel (animal meal, sunflower shells, ISF) that we use depending on cost on an ongoing basis. We might say 'For next month I want this fuel, not this fuel.' We can do that because we have 50% RDF as a constant.
GC: Does changing between animal meal, sunflower shells and ISF at short notice have a detrimental impact on clinker production?
JK: No, not to an appreciable extent. If we ran, for example, with 4% animal meal and then stop putting in the animal meal, we see no effect. If we change between 4% animal meal and then introduce 4% sunflower shells, we can manage that with minimal disruption. However, if we started changing the RDF, from 55% to say 40%, then we would certainly have to make changes.
GC: How do you explain the stability of the system when you change the minority fuel constituent?
JK: Important elements in achieving kiln stability despite changing fuel composition are, firstly, our Lafarge Expert System 'LUCIE', which we use as a kind of 'fuel manager,' securing constant energy input. If we lose some fuel, it will be automatically substituted with another pre-defined fuel. This, together with the reliable fuel-dosing systems from Schenck as well as the Mono Airduct System burner from Unitherm, allow those frequent changes of fuel within a certain range.
Unitherm is also an Austrian company, based in Vienna, and we are a natural partner for them. We make constant improvements to the system together. Over time this methodology has given the burner and hence the kiln a high level of stability with respect to altering the minority fuel constituent.
GC: Are there any plans to change the fuel regime at present?
JK: We have no plans to change our current fuel regime significantly but will continue to alter the minority fuel on a price and availability basis.
GC: What adaptations have been made to the plant to accommodate the use of alternative fuels?
JK: The main adaptations have been the introduction of the Unitherm MAS burner, the alternative fuel storage, transport and dosage systems from Schenck Process, the chlorine bypass (5%) and the installation of a number of cleaning devices in the preheater tower.
GC: What limiting factors stop Mannersdorf from using more alternative fuels?
JK: First of all we want to deliver high quality products to our customers. This is the first job for any cement plant. To ensure this, we need alternative fuels with regularity and good quality. Depending on the availability of alternative fuels and on the development of those two factors we might take opportunities in the future to increase the alternative fuel substitution rate. Our good relationship with our external stakeholders may enable us to push for higher levels of alternative fuels in the future. There is a lot of flexibility in our permit.
GC: What impression would you like the delegates from CemFuels to take away from their visit to Lafarge Mannersdorf?
JK: In addition to our approaches to alternative fuel use, we have two impressions that we would like to give our visitors.
Firstly, it is our commitment to produce cement in Mannersdorf in strong cooperation with our community and stakeholders. We involved them strongly in our environmental impact assessment and we want them to have an active part in the sustainable development of the plant. For example, the development of alternative fuels, alternative raw materials and the investments into environmental protection are done in close cooperation and discussion with our community and neighbours. For this unique achievement we are certainly very proud. This is a key message that we want delegates to take away from their visit.
Secondly, we also want delegates to take away the fact that we are one of the most environmentally-conscious cement plants in the world with state-of-the-art equipment in all areas of environmental control.
Control and the environment
GC: What process controls does the plant use?
JK: The plant is controlled by an ABB control system, which operates from the main control room. There is also Lafarge's expert control system LUCIE, which controls kiln, clinker cooler and cement mills.
LUCIE provides recommendations to the plant operators and, under normal conditions, the operators simply follow LUCIE's recommendations. Obviously the operator has the final say and will veto any incorrect decisions from LUCIE.
We also have an automatic laboratory from Pfaff, which today is part of FLSmidth, and a raw mix cross belt analyser from ThermoFisher to maintain our raw mix chemistry.
GC: What environmental regulations and control systems are in operation at the plant?
JK: The Austrian laws that affect our operations are the Abfall Wirtschafts Gesetz (AWG) (Waste Economy Law), which encourages people to recycle by imposing fines on taking waste materials to landfill. It has the effect of reducing the use of virgin material, for example our clay pit, and driving the re-use of non-conventional materials that were previously thought of as wastes. Secondly there is the Abfall Verbrennungs Verordnung (AVV), (Waste Combustion Order), which is related to the use of waste as a fuel. It states the requirements that industrial installations have to satisfy if they want to use a waste as a fuel source.
With respect to major pollutants, we limit ourselves to below the legal limits following extensive and ongoing consultation with the local population.
For NOx control we have historically employed a selective non-catalytic reduction (SNCR) system. However, since 2012 and the installation of our semidust selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system from Scheuch, this has been employed only as a back up. The SCR is currently a pilot system. It is the first SCR installation in Austria, the first SCR installation for Lafarge, the first semi-dust SCR installation in the world and one of only a handful of SCR systems in the global cement industry. This will enable us to consistently go to NOx emissions below 200mg/Nm3, which will be quite an achievement.
The catalyser in the SCR is a ceramic base containing titanium oxide, glass fibres for rigidity, tungsten for thermal resistance and a small amount of vanadium oxide. This is the active ingredient that helps the reaction between NOx and the ammonium, which we inject, to be very efficient. It acts as a matchmaker between the molecules.
At the end of 2018 there will be a 200mg/Nm3 limit in Germany, which is an early mover with regard to environmental regulations. Independent of how NOx regulations may change in Austria, we consider the reduction to 200mg/Nm3 to be an important signal to our neighbours and to the environment.
With respect to our dust emissions, we have a legal limit of 20mg/Nm3. However, we have said to our neighbours that we will self-limit to 8mg/Nm3. We communicate our dust emissions monthly along with other parameters like vibrations levels from quarry blasts. We want to be really open and transparent because we have found that this creates trust between two parties with often competing interests.
For SO2 our emissions fell sharply in 2005 with the introduction of waste clay bricks to the process. This means that we are at a very low level of SO2 emissions, for which we have a 40mg/Nm3 self-regulation limit that came about through discussions with the local population. Our SO2 limit would be 50mg/Nm3 under the AVV, but because we have pyrite in the raw material, we actually have a higher limit at 400mg/Nm3. We are nowhere near that level, despite the pyrite.
There is also continuous measurement of mercury, which is a rare move for a European cement plant. We started continuous measurements in 2011. Prior to that it was discontinuous. When we installed the device, we began to see the spikes that happen when, for example, the raw mill stops. Indeed, when the SCR stops, we see mercury going out in an increased amount. To counter this we started active carbon injection, which works quite well.
We have a limit for total organic carbon (TOC), which we have always been able to adhere to comfortably. When we installed the SCR we noticed that it lowered our TOC emissions as well as our SO2. That was a nice bonus.
|Nitrogen oxides (NOx)||500mg/Nm3 / 200mg/Nm3|
|Sulphur dioxide (SO2)||350mg/Nm3|
|Total organic carbon (TOC)||120mg/Nm3|
Above - Table 1: The legal limits for selected pollutants that the plant has to adhere to. The legal limit for NOx with the older SNCR system is 500mg/Nm3 but the plant will adhere to a 200mg/Nm3 limit when the SCR operates full-time.
JK: As I mentioned earlier, at Lafarge Mannersdorf we are very proud to work in close cooperation with local residents and we have a good relationship with them. This is a type of co-operation that I was first involved in when we introduced alternative fuels to the Lafarge Sötenich plant in Germany in 2002 - 2006.
At Mannersdorf, we carried out a wide-ranging environmental impact assessment a few years ago. That process created a lot of trust within the local population and we have been striving to reduce all of our emissions to well below legal requirements since then. Every year everyone in Mannersdorf gets a letter inviting them to our environmental presentation, where we present our environmental report.
With respect to improvements to our controls, emissions or communications processes, we do not want to be asked by our neighbours to improve. As soon as our neighbours ask, there is already a problem and something to react to. We always look to be proactive, stay in the driving seat and be the instigator towards higher environmental standards. If we make any change, we always discuss first with the local population. Our discussions with the locals help us to explain what is happening now, what we will do in the near future but also what things might look like in the next 10 to 20 years.
GC: What cement types are produced at Lafarge Mannersdorf?
JK: We produce nine types of cement here. The plant has a high share of CEM II cements and an average clinker factor of 65%. It makes around 15 - 20% CEM I, 70 - 80% CEM II and around 10% CEM III (including the concrete additive Fluamix C). There is a long tradition of using CEM II and CEM III type cements in Austria.
We market the different types of cement by colour names. This is because the names according to the European regulations mean relatively little to the person actually working with the cement in the field. Therefore, we call the product by the colour of the bag that it historically came in. This helps us build a bridge between the new and older names. For example we call them 'the red one' for some types of CEM II, 'the blue one' for our standard CEM I and 'the black one' for some different types of CEM II.
In addition to the normal types of cement, we make a special C3A-free clinker called Contragress, (the yellow one). Contragress is important for applications that need sulphate-resistance and is widely used in the Viennese market. The whole of the Metro system in the city, which has been built over the past 40 years or so, is made from Contragress-based concrete. There is also Fluamix C ('the light green one'), which has no clinker in it at all. It is used as an additive in concrete mixtures that might contain other types of our cement.
GC: Can you expand on the historic use of CEM II and CEM III cements in Austria?
JK: It is strange having worked in other countries to see the focus on CEM I for large-scale applications and then return to Austria and see high use of CEM II and CEM III. In Austria large projects, for example roads, have been carried out with CEM II cements for many decades. Perhaps the large steel industry in Austria had an impact due to the high availability of slag.
Either way, there has been a lot of expertise developed in using CEM II, which also has a lower heat of hydration and so is ideal for this type of application. In other countries the contractor would 'go mad' if they used anything other than CEM I for road applications.
GC: It is interesting to hear that other countries (presumably you are referring to France and Germany) do not make more use of CEM II for roads, particularly Germany.
JK: Yes. Having worked in Germany for several years I saw only CEM I for road applications. In Austria, however, we have excellent experience and many road constructions completed with CEM II cement.
GC: Where does the plant secure its additives?
JK: We secure slag from Voest Alpine Austria, fly ash from power plants, sand from foundries, limestone from our own mine, cinder from various suppliers and synthetic gypsum from citric acid production. Around 15% of all input materials are recycled.
Customers and distribution
GC: What geographical area is covered by the Mannersdorf facility?
JK: We supply around a 150km radius from the plant. Our main market therefore is eastern Austria, particularly the Viennese market.
GC: What type of company is the Mannersdorf plant's main customer? Can you broadly define the proportions of each type?
JK: Our main customers are ready mix concrete producers. We also supply around 15% to precast concrete products producers and supply 10% in bags. Around 5% goes to other types of customer, for example mortar producers and similar companies.
In the 70% going to ready mix concrete producers we also include major construction projects. Austrian projects remain an important part of our output. In recent years we were involved in a major tunnel project and now there is the new Central Station being built in Vienna. It is the largest construction site in Europe. For the future, we still need major developments like completing the circular highway around Vienna, a number of link tunnels, new hospitals and other, smaller projects.
GC: Is the plant seeing any changes in terms of its customer profile with time?
JK: We see a continual move to a higher proportion of pre-casting customers and a steady decrease in bag sales over the years. During the past 10 years the proportion of bagged sales has dropped from 15% to around 10%. In most industrialised countries there is a trend away from bags towards pre-fabrication.
GC: Is there a possibility that bagging could stop at one or both of the Lafarge plants in future?
JK: We don't see that at the moment. On the contrary, we consider bags as an important part of the portfolio that we offer to our customers.
GC: How does the Wopfinger Zement plant (57km away) influence Mannersdorf's distribution?
JK: There is room for both of us in the local market. There is Holcim in Slovakia (100km away), which also has an influence on us as one of our regional competitors.
Markets and the future
GC: How has the Mannersdorf plant been affected by the relative slump in the Austrian economy?
JK: The Austrian cement industry has, of course, been affected by the downturn in the economic situation. Austrian cement consumption is currently about 4.5Mt/yr and the country can produce around 5.5Mt/yr of cement. There is a good balance between supply and demand at present. However, in 2007 and 2008 the country was producing at virtually full capacity.
GC: You mentioned some large projects in Vienna. Is there a bit of a bubble in the Viennese region compared to other parts of Austria?
JK: No, there is no particular difference in Vienna. Even in other parts of the country there are projects. I think that one of the reasons Austria is doing slightly better than neighbouring countries is the need for and the ability to construct major projects like those I mentioned.
We should be careful not to make too much out of the projects though. They are valuable mainly because they can open up other projects and individual construction projects that need cement. If you only supplied projects you would look poor.
GC: What do you think will happen in the market in the coming years?
JK: We are currently planning for a stable market in Austria. It won't be like it was in 2007 but in 2014 we estimate it to be stable compared to the recent past.
Further into the future and all around the world, Lafarge has its aim to 'Build Better Cities.' This means that we not only manage our current business but also look into the future and make sure that we are in a good position with regards to what that future will look like. In other parts of the world, we see bigger and bigger cities turning into mega-cities. These will need to be sustainable and have affordable housing in many cases.
This stance is today more related to the emerging markets. If, as one of the largest cement companies in the world, Lafarge does not take action with regard to these challenges in places like the future São Paulo, Nairobi, Jakarta and others, we would be doing something wrong and perhaps no longer be one of the major global cement producers.
The long term European picture
GC: How does the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) affect Lafarge Mannersdorf?
JK: Our CO2 emissions are slightly higher than the benchmark set by the ETS, which is 766 kg CO2/t of clinker. Even if we use a relatively high proportion of biogenic fuel, which we do, and have a good specific heat consumption (3400MJ/t), which we do, it is difficult to achieve the European CO2 benchmark level.
In 2014 we will not have enough CO2 certificates and the gap between the benchmark and our emissions will gradually increase in the coming years. This means that the money we need to spend for additional certificates will not be available for investments into our plant.
GC: That means that you are stuck in a cycle where you can't afford to improve.
JK: Exactly! These are some of the terrible things that we are doing today in Europe. In my heart and my convictions I agree strongly with sustainable development and environmental protection. However if you do it alone, which is what we are doing in Europe, as our followers leave one after another, then we are just going to eliminate our industry.
At the moment the cement industry is considered by the European Commission as vulnerable to the effects of carbon leakage. However, there are strong discussions that the cement industry may soon not be considered in this light. If that happens, we would not just be buying some CO2 certificates but many, many certificates. This would be huge money.
In the future, why would an investor put money into Europe knowing that the European industry will no longer be able to afford to invest in the future? The investor would put their money into markets where they do not have to buy these credits. The industry is under major threat and once you kill somebody it is very difficult to reanimate them again.
When you buy CO2 credits, you buy nothing. It's like burning money! However, if you invest, you can buy an environmental advantage while keeping the industry in Europe.
GC: What would your recommendation be?
JK: Continue with a careful approach to companies that are under direct threat of carbon leakage and launch some benefit-driven initiatives that allow investment in improvements at cement plants. That was the original aim of the EU ETS - Improve so that you pay less.
GC: Thank you very much for your time.
JK: You are most welcome!
Plant Manager Profile: Joseph Kitzweger
Studies: Non-metallic mining at Montanuniversität Leoben
First cement job: Quality Control, Perlmooser Mannersdorf
Moved to Lafarge: 1994 (Perlmooser taken over)
Moved to management: 1999
Has worked in: Lyon, France; Sötenich, Germany; Middle East; Central Europe
In current role: Since June 2012
Expanded Profile: Joseph Kitzweger
Dr Joseph Kitzweger started his career in cement at the Mannersdorf plant in the quality control department after completing his studies in Mineral Resources Engineering at the Mining University of Leoben. At the time that he first worked at the plant it was operated by Austria's Perlmooser.
Kitzweger moved to Lafarge in 1994 as part of Lafarge's takeover of Perlmooser. "I remember going into the head office and being told that overnight we were now Lafarge," he explains. Following the takeover he moved to Lafarge's new technical centre for central Europe, which was founded in Vienna in 1995.
In 1999 he opted to move into management despite a number of technical opportunities. After three years as an operational auditor at Lafarge's Technical Head Office in Lyon, France, he moved to the plant manager position for the Sötenich plant in Germany. "Around 50% of my time was focused on external issues," explains Kitzweger. "The plant was very close to the local residents and we had a good education in how to introduce alternative fuels to the public while I was there from 2002 to 2006."
After that position, Kitzweger returned to a Lafarge functional role, working in business development in the Middle East. Then, between 2009 and 2012, he was employed as the Performance Manager for Central Europe, covering Lafarge's plants between Germany and the Ural Mountains. He became Plant Manager at the Mannersdorf plant in 2012 and has now been in the role for 20 months.
Plant Profile: Lafarge Mannersdorf
Location: Mannersdorf, Lower Austria. Around 30km from Vienna
Part of: Lafarge Central Europe (LCE), a joint venture with Strabag
Other LCE plants: Retznei, Austria; Cizkovice, Czech Republic; Elérhetőség, Hungary; Trbovljein, Slovenia
Staff: 105 (+ 10-15 apprentices)
Kilns: One - PASEC System - Commissioned 1984
Design capacity: 2730t/day (0.9Mt/yr) clinker, 1.4Mt/yr cement
Capacity today: 2500t/day (0.8Mt/yr) clinker, 1.2Mt/yr cement
Raw mill: 250t/hr roller press - KHD
Finish ball mill: 60t/hr - FLSmidth, 115t/hr - Krupp Polysius
Plant Profile: Alternative Fuels
Date started: 1996
Alternative fuels used: RDF (50-55%), Animal meal (<5%), Sunflower shells (<5%), Impregnated solid fuel (<5%)
Total substitution: >60%
Balance: Coal / Petcoke
Meet the workforce
The Lafarge Mannersdorf management team consists of (from left to right): Gerhard Kruckenfellner (New Projects), Karolina Schwendtner (Quality Manager), Christoph Poeck (Financial Manager), Franz Mascherbauer (Maintenance Manager), Raef Baehr-Mörsen (Safety Manager), Christopher Ehrenberg (Process Manager), Walter Gems (Production Mangager) and Joseph Kitzweger (Plant Manager).
In total the Mannersdorf plant has 105 full-time employees plus around 15 apprentices. "Investment in young people is one of our really key strategic points for managing our operation sustainably," explains Kitzweger. "We are just 30km with from Vienna and it is hard for a small village this close to a big city to be very attractive for young people. That is why we aim to develop the local youth in the longer term, teach them about the industry, provide skills and keep them local to the plant. After their training they become important stakeholders in the operation. This dual system, in which apprentices learn the job while going to classes, continues for four years and provides a very well-rounded education in the cement industry."