The listed Saudi Arabian Astra Industrial Group (AIG), a leading industrial conglomerate active in the key industrial segments of pharmaceuticals, speciality chemicals, energy & steel and mining, decided a few years ago to expand its product portfolio to include limestone and quicklime products as well as hydrated lime. Thus, in 2011, Astra Mining Company Ltd LLC was founded as a joint venture between AIG and Tharawat Mining to build a completely new lime plant in the emerging industrial zone of Al Kharj, about 100 kilometres southeast of Riyadh.
Soon after, an intensive planning phase began to design the "optimal" lime plant from scratch, one that would give Astra Mining full flexibility to manufacture a variety of products and also take into account a possible future expansion of the lime plant. So it was all about the logistics and layout of the limestone storage, the kiln, the silo battery for the products and the hydration and packaging plants. The plant is laid out in almost a single line, so that this layout can be easily reused for future kiln lines.
Maerz was commissioned to supply engineering and components for a natural gas-fired PFR type R1P kiln with a capacity of 300 t/d and a hydrate plant with a capacity of 12 t/h.
Once a single section of the lime plant was fully erected and electrified, that section was cold commissioned to save time and avoid unforeseen obstacles during the kiln's hot commissioning phase. The kiln was fired for the first time in May 2017 and has been consistently producing high-quality quicklime ever since. The official inauguration ceremony took place in the presence of Mohammed Al Hagbani, President of Astra Industrial Group.
We are proud that the commitment of the Maerz project team has successfully supported Astra - as the CEO of Astra, Ali AI Jabrah, emphasised in a message to his customers: "achieving the appreciation of customers is the highest award for Astra Mining". Per aspera ad astra.