Union Cements Company (UCC, Ras Al Khaimah), founded in 1972, is one of the biggest cement manufacturers in the United Arab Emirates for Portland cement with capacity of 10,000 tons per day.
As per Mr. Hamad Khalfan Al Marri (Acting General Manager at UCC), the vision of UCC is to reduce the CO2 footprint and contribute in making the plant more environmental friendly. The compressed air is one of the largest energy consumer in UCC and has been marked as an area of implementing new innovative solutions to help reduce energy consumption.
UCC has installed 22 units of Atlas Copco medium pressure compressors at their Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) facility for instrument air and material transfer. Some of the units are running for more than 20 years. For the low-pressure air demand (below 1bar), UCC used conventional lobe blowers for material transfer and combustion air applications.
To help UCC achieve its vision, Atlas Copco conducted an analysis on the compressed air systems in the plant and concluded with an energy efficient solution for its low-pressure air system by introducing the screw blower technology.
After comparing the potential energy saving data associated with the screw technology, UCC decided to replace one of their 200 kW lobe blower at the coal mill with a 160 kW Atlas Copco ZS screw blower.
Energy costs can amount to 80% of the Life Cycle Costs of a blower. The ZS screw blower range can reduce energy costs by average 30% compared to conventional lobe blower. Driven directly through gearbox, the ZS screw blower’s internal compression is optimized to reach maximum saving by reducing pressure drops and air turbulence.
UCC measured the new ZS blower performance and the 25% energy savings confirmed has resulted in UCC adopting screw technology for their low pressure air requirement at the RAK facility. Further, UCC have purchased another two ZS screw units including a 37 kW & a 132 kW for the kiln feed, to replace the other two lobe blowers in the area.
Production sustainability is very critical for cement industry. The ZS blower with forced lubrication and complete onboard oil system, which includes oil cooling and filtration, creates a more reliable package. In high ambient temperature conditions such as the Middle East, a lobe blower service interval is approx. every 1000 to 1,500 hours (2-3 months) while the typical service interval of ZS screw blower is 4000 hours and oil change once every 16,000 hours.
Also, the ZS screw blowers have full blower monitoring package onboard via the Mark V Elektronikon® control system that provides round the clock monitoring through the optional patented SMARTlink remote monitoring system, giving UCC maintenance engineers a complete insight in the compressed air network and anticipates on potential problems.
“ Atlas Copco compressors are running in our plant for 20 years steadily and reliably. Now with the ZS screw blowers, we are starting a new chapter of energy savings in a very tough environment that has heavy contamination and high ambient temperatures.
By using the ZS blowers for over two years and experiencing the same quality and reliability, I am quite pleased to state that these blowers have helped UCC improve the production and bring down our operation costs and CO2 foot print by average 25%.
We intend to replace the rest of lobe blowers with the ZS screw blowers. ”
“ Atlas Copco ZS screw blowers are fast gaining acceptance within the cement industry in the region and for customers who have invested in the screw blowers in the last few years are now reaping the benefits in terms of energy savings and operational reliability and efficiency such as the case with Union Cement. ”