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Plant Upgrade Almost Doubles Capacity For Icelandic Concrete Producer

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06 December 2021

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Reykjavík-headquartered concrete producer Steypustöðin – Námurhas announced a significant new investment in an upgrade to its CDE wet processing plant that will see it almost double its sand and aggregate processing capacity in Hólabrú, Hvalfjarðarsveit.

An area noted for the quality of its natural materials, excavation has been undertaken at Hólabrú for several decades, supplying high-grade sand and aggregate products to meet the material needs for asphalting, road construction and civil engineering in the Icelandic capital.

In 2009, it was estimated that up to 1,000,000m3 of material had been excavated and processed by Tak-Malbik and Vélaleiga Halldórs Sigurðssonar to support major public works and infrastructure projects, with up to a further 2,000,000m3 to be processed by the end of this decade.

In 2018, Steypustöðin acquired two businesses, Alexander Ólafsson and Tak-Malbik, and with it, two state-of-the-art CDE wet processing solutions commissioned for the companies in October 2018

They were integrated into Steypustöðin’s operations, reinforcing the company’s material processing capabilities through the acquisition and integration of industry experts, heavy machinery and material processing plants, including Tak-Malbik’s 80tph (tonnes per hour) CDE sand and aggregate wash plant.

These resources are supporting the continued development of Steypustöðin's mines – Vatnskarðsnáman and Hólabrúarnáman – which remain vital suppliers of minerals for projects in the capital area, other local municipalities and Vegagerðin, Iceland’s road administration.

Due to increasing demand for its product range, Steypustöðin is now investing in an upgrade to its CDE plant that will increase the processing capacity from 80tph to 150tph.

Hörður Pétursson, COO at Steypustöðin – Námur, says despite 18-hour production shifts demand continues to outstrip supply.

Hörður Pétursson, COO at Steypustöðin – Námur

“Our site operates from 7am to 11pm six days per week, but in spite of a busy production schedule we‘re still experiencing demand greater than that which we can supply, impacting our ability to build up reserves. The existing CDE plant coupled with our experience of working with its expert team has underscored much of the success of this site to date. For this reason, we were keen to work with the team again to devise a solution that would help us to increase our production volumes.”

Allan Esmann, CDE’s business development manager for Denmark, Iceland and Greenland, says identifying the bottleneck limiting the plant capacity was key.

“When it was first installed, the jet pump was capable of conveying sufficient sand and gravel relative to the demand at the time and it was a solution that satisfied the material needs of both the customer and the market. However, with increasing demand for premium construction materials its limited capacity is impacting Steypustöðin’s ability to meet the call of the construction industry or build up its own material reserves.”

The original configuration of the plant split 0-8mm materials into two fractions – 0-4mm and 4-8mm – on the bottom deck of the M2500, a fully integrated modular washing plant that combines feeding, screening, sand washing and stockpiling into one compact and mobile chassis.

The jet pump, utilised for the 4-8mm fraction, was identified as the bottleneck, limiting the feed material throughput, Mr Esmann explains.

“We proposed an upgrade that will see the removal of the jet pump which is to be replaced by a new traditional pump. In addition, the full bottom deck will be utilised for one fraction (0-8mm) which will be pumped to a new, separate dewatering screen.

“Here, the 4-8mm fraction will be dewatered, screened off, and stockpiled via new conveyor system, while the 0-4mm underflow of the screen will be pumped back into the original configuration where it will be dewatered and minus 63-micron material removed through a new, higher capacity cyclone.”

When commissioned, the upgrade will almost double sand and gravel production for Steypustöðin, whose product range includes five outputs: +22mm oversize, 8-22mm, 4-8mm, 0-4mm and 0-8mm.

Mr Esmann says the project is a demonstration of CDE’s customer for life approach.

“Our durable technologies are backed up by leading aftersales support, delivered by the CDE CustomCare team. We operate a customer for life model that sees us continue to work closely with customers once a plant has been commissioned, ensuring maximum uptime and throughput to meet our performance guarantees. We have developed an excellent working relationship with the team at Steypustöðin and we're pleased our technology continues to support one of the leading producers of concrete in Reykjavík.”

Commenting on the durability of CDE wet processing solutions, he adds: “CDE technology is robust and adaptable, meaning that we were able to devise a solution that will completely transform the operation and output of Steypustöðin’s plant while retaining its core infrastructure and original configuration.”

Mr Pétursson commends the drive and determination displayed by the CDE team in engineering a solution to increase Steypustöðin’s production in line with soaring demand.

“We’re hugely impressed by the flexibility of the CDE plant and the ability of its expert team to integrate these new components into the operation. Rather than a full plant overhaul, these relatively low-cost upgrades, when commissioned, will have a transformational impact on our production and accelerate return on investment.”

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