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                          INDUSTRY PROFILE #13
                            PORTLAND CEMENT
                              Prepared By
                             Dave F. Smith
                              H.W. Goodwin
                              Published By
      1600 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 500, Arlington, Virginia 22209 USA
               Telephone:  (703) 276-1800, Fax:  (703) 243-1865
                  Telex:  440192 VITAUI, Cable:   VITAINC
           Internet:, Bitnet:  vita@gmuvax
                            Portland Cement
                          ISBN:  0-86619-300-6
              [C] 1988, Volunteers in Technical Assistance
                           INDUSTRY PROFILES
This Industry Profile is one of a series briefly describing small or medium-sized industries.  The
Profiles provide basic information for starting manufacturing plants in developing nations.
Specifically, they provide general plant descriptions, financial, and technical factors for their
operation, and sources of information and expertise.   The series is intended to be useful in
determining whether the industries described warrant further inquiry either to rule out or to
decide upon investment.  The underlying assumption of these Profiles is that the individual
making use of them already has some knowledge and experience in industrial development.
Dollar values are listed only for machinery and equipment costs, and are primarily based on
equipment in the United States.   The price does not include shipping costs or import-export taxes,
which must be considered and will vary greatly from country to country.  No other investment
costs are included (such as land value, building rental, labor, etc.) as those prices also vary.
These items are mentioned to provide the investor with a general checklist of considerations for
setting up a business.
These profiles should not be substituted for feasibility studies.  Before an investment is made in
a plant, a feasibility study should be conducted.   This may require skilled economic and
engineering expertise.  The following illustrates the range of questions to which answers must
be obtained:
        *   What is the extent of the present demand for the product, and how is it now being
        *   Will the estimated price and quality of the product make it competitive?
        *  What is the marketing and distribution plan and to whom will the product be
        *   How will the plant be financed?
        *   Has a realistic time schedule for construction, equipment, delivery, obtaining
           materials and supplies, training of personnel, and the start-up time for the plant
           been developed?
        *   How are needed materials and supplies to be procured and machinery and
           equipment to be maintained and repaired?
        *   Are trained personnel available?
        *   Do adequate transportation, storage, power, communication, fuel, water, and
           other facilities exist?
        *   What management controls for design, production, quality control, and other
           factors have been included?
        *   Will the industry complement or interfere with development plans for the area?
        *   What social, cultural, environmental, and technological considerations must be
           addressed regarding manufacture and use of this product?
Fully documented information responding to these and many other questions should be
determined before proceeding with implementation of an industrial project.
                   Equipment Suppliers, Engineering Companies
The services of professional engineers are desirable in the design of industrial plants even though
the proposed plant may be small.   A correct design is one that provides the greatest economy in
the investment of funds and establishes the basis of operation that will be most profitable in the
beginning and will also be capable of expansion without expensive alteration.
Professional engineers who specialize in industrial design can be found be referring to the
published cards in various engineering magazines.   They may also be reached through their
national organizations.
Manufacturers of industrial equipment employ engineers familiar with the design and installation
of their specialized products.   These manufacturers are usually willing to give prospective
customers the benefit of technical advice by those engineers in determining the suitability of their
equipment in any proposed project.
Volunteers in Technical Assistance (VITA) is a private, non-profit, volunteer organization
engaged in international development.   Through its varied activities and services, VITA fosters
self-sufficiency by promoting increased economic productivity.  Supported by a volunteer roster
of over 5,000 experts in a wide variety of fields, VITA is able to provide high quality technical
information to requesters.  This information is increasingly conveyed through low-cost advanced
communication technologies, including terrestrial packet radio and low-earth-orbiting satellite.
VITA also implements both long- and short-term projects to promote enterprise development and
transfer technology.
                              PORTLAND CEMENT
PREPARED BY:  Dave F. Smith
              Alfred Bush
REVIEWED BY:  G. Robert Fuller
              H.W. Goodwin
The Product.  To make Portland cement, a crushed mixture of limestone
and clay is heated to form "clinker," which is mixed with
gypsum and ground to a fine, dehydrated powder.   Quality control
is essential during manufacture.   The cement is shipped in
moisture-resistant bags or other containers, or in bulk.
When mixed with sand, gravel, and water in proportions that
depend upon the application, it sets to a dense, rock-like material,
called concrete or mortar.  Additives may accelerate or
retard the set, increase strength, or make it resistant to acid,
sulphate, shrinkage, or freeze-thaw cracking.
The Facility.  This Profile describes a small plant producing
35,000 metric tons of cement a year.
In most developing countries, concrete is an increasingly important
construction material.  It is basic to the construction of
roads, dams, canals, water and sewer ducts, houses and factories.
Since the raw materials are often readily available, cement
production can improve a country's living standards and decrease
its dependence on imports.
Economic and Technical Outlook
Economic.  Starting a cement industry depends on the availability
of power, fuel, and water.  Sufficient raw materials must be
available to justify investment in even the smallest plant.
Because cement manufacture is a continuous process and consumes
much energy, access to a reliable supply of fuel or electric
power is required.
Depending on local conditions, the running costs of a small plant
may be higher than those of a much larger plant of exactly the
same type, per ton of cement produced.   Potential local demand and
cost of transport of cement from outside the region are important
in deciding whether to build a new plant and what size it should
Technical.  The basic process is age-old; no technological breakthroughs
are expected.  Raw-material costs can be reduced if the
plant is built where limestone can be quarried.   Limestone quarries
can be used by a small plant even if their yield is only
moderate.  Coral dredged from a nearby underwater source can be
used instead.
Manufacturing Equipment Flexibility.   Some of the equipment and
machines required for this operation, such as the crushers,
grinders, batchers, and kiln, are used in other industries and
may be purchased secondhand.
Large, complex cement plants in industrial countries are designed
for automation and high energy efficiency.   They require specially
qualified staff.  In developing countries, small and medium sized
plants can be planned using modern knowledge.   Such plants use
less automation and staff that is less specially qualified.
Process and maintenance should be simple and reliable.
Knowledge Base.  Cement technology requires knowledge and skills,
some of which may best be acquired by working for a time in an
industry outside the home country.   Market analysts should determine
whether the potential growth of the country is likely to
support the industry.  Geologists should determine the adequacy
of the mineral resources; power and water supplies must be investigated.
The technical staff required to operate a cement plant includes
an operating engineer and a manager.   Quality control requires
training in analytical chemistry.   Successful continuous operation
depends on mechanics, trained technicians, and plant operators
who have some understanding of chemical processing.
Quality Control.  Sampling for quality control may be needed
several times per hour.  A test lab must be part of the plant.  It
should be furnished with sampling, curing, and test equipment to
ensure uniformity at each stage of production and to meet international
standards.  A well-run lab is essential to keeping a
competitive market position and maintaining confidence in the
Constraints and Limitations.   These are as follows:  high investment
in equipment and land; limited range of product output; high
cost of transport of raw materials to plant and product to
market; the need to use the product in a short time after manufacture,
because it is unavoidably damaged by high humidity and
moisture; and the need for a reliable source of power to maintain
continuous and efficient operation, thus lowering the high costs
of start-up and shut-down.
Users.  Small users need bagged cement.  Cement can be bulk shipped
in tank, truck, or railroad cars, and sold to precasters of large
structural parts (pipes, posts, blocks, railroad ties, etc.), and
builders of industrial, commercial, or residential structures.
Cement may be sold directly to public-sector organizations,
private contractors in the largest urban areas, and local distributors.
If nearby countries need the material and the plant has
excess capacity, it may export a portion of its production.
However, most export sales are either spot sales or by short-term
Suppliers.  If a country or region now depends on imported cement
supply, a first step may be to improve the efficiency of local
distribution, whether by land or water.   If the expected market
demand justifies a larger plant than that described here, a next
step may be the importation of clinker, to be pulverized and
mixed with gypsum; then bagged for distribution.   Or, depending
on resources and market conditions, local planners may want to
build a plant for complete manufacture.
Sales Channels and Methods.  Producers and/or suppliers are directly
contacted, or through advertising in local technical
publications and other channels.   Generally, cement companies sell
directly to the users.
Geographic Extent of Market.   If the market area is extended too
far, transport costs make the cement noncompetitive with the
cement from other sources or with other materials.   This may be up
to 300 km from the plant by land, and farther by water.
Competition.  Competition from other materials will depend on
relative costs.  In regions of high rainfall, lumber will be
competitive.  Close to industrial centers or major ports, steel
and other structural metals will compete.   Brick, soil cement or
adobe, sometimes traditionally used in housing, may compete
because of their low cost.
Market Capacity.  Market capacity depends on local purchasing
power, potential for growth (including new businesses and tourism),
availability of competing materials, and attitudes toward
acquiring new technologies.  Therefore, annual per capita consumption
of cement may vary from 5 to 150 kg for an agrarian society
and from 300 to 700 kg for an industrial society.
The cement market follows the downturns and booms of the construction
industry.  Prices of cement can fall and rise, often
     Requirements                                       Amount
Annual Output                                          35,000 T
1.  Infrastructure, Utilities
    Land (not including quarry)                         2 ha
    Building and structures (Note 2)                 4,600 sq m
    Power (can be hydro)                             2 - 3 Mw
    Fuel (expressed as coal)                          20 T/d
    Water                                             400 T/d
    Materials input                                4,000 T/mo.
    (Road access required; rail or waterway access desirable.)
2.  Major Equipment and Machinery
    Production tools and equipment
      Including principal items:  air drills,
      compressor, shovels, crushers, hammer
      mill, conveyor & elevator, rough mill &
      slurry tanks, kiln, feed tank, clinker
      cooler, conveyors, silos, finish mill
      elevator, bagging equipment, lab
      equipment, pumping equipment, water
      storage, maintenance equipment, power
      plant; other tools and equipment,
      furniture and fixtures.  (Note 3)             $5 million
3.  Materials & Supplies
    Raw Materials
    limestone & clay                                    175 T/d
    gypsum                                                 5 T/d
    grinding balls                                       varies
    bags @ 50% sales in bags                            3,800/d
4.  Labor (varies with local conditions)
    plant operators, instrument technicians                10
    mechanics, equipment operators                         20
    general labor                                          20
    administration, manager, supervisors, chemist,
    sales/marketing                                         20
5.  Distribution/Supply flow
    Materials in per day                              180 T/d
    Materials out per day                             100 T/d
6.  Market Requirements
    Market area population                             varies
7.  Other Requirements
    Raw material reserves                            15 years
1.  These estimates refer to the 35,000 T/y plant.  To build and
    operate a plant twice as large may require a little less than
    twice as much in space and financial resources.  The amount of
    the saving will depend on local conditions.
2.  Buildings need to be designed for the specific process selected.
    Silo height may be 8 - 12 m. Stack height will depend
    on local safety and environmental rules.
3.  Estimated US$ cost in the United States in 1985, based on
    1965 prices and an inflation multiplier of 4 for the elapsed
    period.   The actual cost in the country of use may vary considerably
    from this figure, depending on local conditions
    and and process requirements.  Used production tools and
    equipment from reliable sources can often be obtained at much
    lower prices.
1.  Diagrams
    A.   Flow sheet/plan

04p06.gif (600x600)

    B.   Elevation diagram

04p07.gif (600x600)

2.  Remarks
The flow sheet/plan is for the medium plant.   It uses a single
stage preheater (for fuel economy).   Dust collectors are included
for pollution abatement; a clinker silo also reduces pollution.
Dashed lines show key sampling points for quality control.
Unless otherwise stated, the addresses are in the United States.
Technical Manuals and Textbooks
Bye, G. C.  Portland Cement, Composition, Production, and Properties,
1983, 156 pp., ISBN 0-08-029965-2, paper/text ed.   ISBN
0-08-029964-4, Pergamon Press, Inc., Maxwell House, Fairview
Park, Elmsford, New York 10523.
Kohlhaas, B.  Cement Engineers Handbook (4th ed.), 1982, 790 pp.,
ISBN 0-9915000-2-4.  Heyden & Sons, Inc., 247 S. 41st St.,
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104.
Lea, F. M.  Chemistry of Cement and Concrete, 1971, 1100 pp.,
ISBN 0-8206-0212-4 Chemical Publishing Co., 80 8th Ave., New
York, New York 10011
Peray, K.  Cement Manufacturer's Handbook, 1979, ISBN 0-8206-0245-0
Chemical Publishing Co., 80 8th Ave., New York, New York
Peray, K.  Rotary Cement Kiln (2nd edition) 1986, ISBN 0-8206-0314-7
Chemical Publishing Co., 80 8th Ave., New York, New York
Minerals Yearbook.  Bureau of Mines, U.S. Department of Interior,
Washington, DC 20241.  ISBN 024-004-02024-1 Government Printing
Office, Washington, DC 20402
Pit & Quarry (Monthly), Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, Inc., 7500
old Oak Boulevard, Cleveland, Ohio 44130
Rock Products (Monthly), 300 W. Adams Street, Chicago, Illinois
Trade Associations
American Concrete Institute, P. O. Box 4754, Redford Station,
Detroit, Michigan 48219
American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), 1916 Race
Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103
Portland Cement Association, 420 Old Orchard Road, Skokie,
Illinois 60077
Equipment Suppliers, Engineering Companies
Engineering for Improved Distribution Systems/Feasibility Studies:
Bendy Engineering Co., 4260 Shoreline Drive Earth City,
Missouri 63045
Independent Process Engineers Kaiser Engineers, Kaiser Center,
300 Lakeside Drive, Oakland, California 94666
Perry Equipment Co., Mt. Laurel Road, Hainesport, New Jersey
08036 [Used equipment.]
Project Services Co., Inc., P. O. Box 24628, Tempe, Arizona 85282
Process Engineers with Major Affiliations:
  o   Holderbank Consulting, Ltd., 2310 Lakeshore Road West, Mississauga,
     Ontario, L5J 1K2, Canada
  o   Lafarge Consultants Ltd., 606 Cathcart Street, Montral,
     Quebec, H3H 1L7, Canada
  o   Design, Supply, and Erect Small Scale Cement Plants:  Micro
     Cemtech, S.A., Paseo de la Castellana 42-3', 28046 Madrid,
     Spain (a GATX-Fuller associate).
  o   Design, Supply and Erect Full Scale Cement Plants/Grinding
     Plants:   Fuller Company, P.O. Box 2040, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
  o   Humboldt Wedag, 3200 Pointe Parkway, Atlanta (Norcross),
     Georgia, 30092
  o   Polysius Corp., 180 Interstate, North Atlanta, Georgia 30339
  o   F.L. Smith & Co., 300 Knickerbocker Road, Cresskill, New
     Jersey 07626
American Cement Directory, Bradley Pulverizer Co., 123 South
Third Street, Allentown, Pennsylvania 18105 (covers North, South
and Central America)
Used Equipment Directory, 70 Sip Avenue, Jersey City, New Jersey
World Cement Directory, Cembureau, 1980, 2 vols., International
Publications Service, 242 Cherry Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
19106; or European Cement Association, 2 rue St. Charles,
F-75740 Paris, France
VITA Resources
VITA has documents on file and in microfiche dealing with the
cement industry.
VITA Venture Services
VITA Venture Services, a subsidiary of VITA, provides commercial
services for industrial development.   This service-for-fee includes
technology and financial information, technical assistance,
marketing, and joint ventures.   For further information,
contact VITA.