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Optimizing operations and minimizing costs at cement plants in Turkey

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ABB Ability™ Expert Optimizer together with electrification, automation, process optimization and drives solutions helps Medcem achieve high-quality production with low energy consumption at its cement plant in Turkey

Operating in an increasingly-competitive market, Turkish cement producers face the need to streamline their operations to cut costs and improve plant efficiency. ABB has a long history of delivering plant optimization packages to the local production base and a project implemented for Medcem Cement at a greenfield cement plant employs the automation specialist’s holistic solution to customized process strategies.

Key facts

 Customer: 

Medcem Cement

 Country: 

Turkey

Customer need: 

Implementing complete and extensive, plant-wide modernization to comply with EU norms on quality, environmental and health and safety standards

ABB solution:
Customer benefits:


Optimized operations resulting in greater productivity, minimized energy costs and enhanced environmental sustainability

Year2013

Optimizing operational efficiency at Turkey's largest cement production line

Medcem Cement, owned by Eren Holding, commissioned a complete ABB solution for plant operations optimization when it was in the process of establishing Turkey's largest production line at a greenfield plant. This plant, located in Mersin, on the Mediterranean coast has a clinker capacity of 10,000 tpd.

ABB was awarded the contract in 2012 to provide an electrification, automation, process optimisation and drives solutions package. Our proven record of adding value to plant operations for the Eren Group, ability to provide a complete solution as a single supplier and knowledge of local electrical regulations were major factors behind this contract award.

With clinker capacity of 10,000 tpd., the Medcem Cement plant at Mersin in Turkey was designed the country's largest production line for cement

Addressing needs of global standard production in a highly competitive market

Turkey is Europe’s single largest cement market and domestic demand expected to continue growing at around 4-5 per cent annually due to the country’s housing and infrastructure needs. Over the next decade local output is expected to reach 100Mta, of which 80Mt will serve domestic requirements.

In addition, Turkey holds a position as Europe’s largest cement exporter. As a consequence, all Turkish cement companies manufacture their products in accordance with EU norms to comply with quality, environmental, and health and safety standards. 

Cement companies in Turkey operate in a market characterized by high competition. Significant cement production costs include raw and auxiliary materials, energy and fuel. Electrical energy and fuel costs, in particular, affect the Turkish cement sector’s competitiveness and frequent variations mean its producers can be at a cost disadvantage compared with manufacturers in other countries.

Despite their potential to reduce overall fuel costs, alternative fuels only account for 2.4% of the Turkish fuel mix. This is mainly due to the lack of established infrastructure to collect, sort and distribute burnable fractions. Another key factor lies in their operational issues as the introduction of highly-variable alternative fuels can impact calciner and kiln operations, resulting in large variations in clinker quality. 

Cement plants in Turkey have an output of 100Mta, of which 80% caters to domestic demand

A complete solution to address quality requirements and contain fuel costs

ABB implemented a complete solution for Medcem Cement's plant, which was a combination of cutting-edge digital technology supported by wide-ranging products. At the heart of this solution, was the ABB Ability™ Expert Optimizer software.

ABB Ability™ Expert Optimizer is a proven solution which has supported kiln operators in maintaining clinker quality and stabilizing production processes, and has achieved considerable results in terms of alternative fuels applications. 

Coal-free precalciner operation using 70% alternative fuels has been achieved and several installations have run in fully-automated mode with system availability of 95-99% . As a result, some customers were even able to achieve a ‘negative energy bill’ as some plants are paid to burn specific alternative fuels. Even with no or lower alternative fuel usage, ABB Ability™ Expert Optimizer provides automatic control of the precalciner and kiln/cooler process, cutting specific energy usage by 1-3%.

In addition, savings in the precalciner, kiln/cooler area, the optimisation of cement mill operations can provide additional specific energy consumption savings of up to 5%.

A complete solution including products such as motors, drives and cubicles, all driven through the ABB Ability™ Expert Optimizer software

A structured approach to ensure customized solution for the plant

A solution that starts with an audit and is based on a "stabilize-then-optimize" approach
To determine the real savings potential for individual plants, ABB offers plant-wide process audits. During the audit all plant process parameters are collected and specific issues are discussed with the operators. Data is then entered into a mathematical plant model and the plant operation is simulated and optimised. The audit produces a full report showing thermal and electrical energy savings potential by using the ABB Ability™ Expert Optimizer and offers advice on additional process modifications to reduce existing bottlenecks. Performance enhancements stated in the audit report act as performance guarantees and allow plant management to immediately calculate return on investment (ROI), which can be further accelerated through additional benefits such as increased quality, reduced maintenance and less downtime.

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