PFR kilns in Caleras San Juan, Los Berros, Argentina

In conversation with Raúl Cabanay,
Caleras San Juan

Caleras San Juan is an Argentinian company specialised in the production of burnt lime and dolomite. With a modern and sustainable mining operation, Caleras San Juan is one of the leading companies in the regional market.

Thanks to a consequently implemented investment plan, production capacity has been increased from 120,000 tonnes in 2013 to 600,000 tonnes per year by 2024.

Raul Cabanay is a shareholder and managing director of Caleras San Juan with more than 36 years of experience in the lime industry. He holds a degree in mining engineering from the National University of San Juan. He is also Vice President of the San Juan Chamber of Mines and a tenacious advocate for the Argentine lime industry.

Caleras San Juan Raul Cabanay

"We started small. As soon as our economic situation allowed it, we moved on to bigger technological improvements."

Raúl Cabanay, Managing Director, Caleras San Juan
Los Berros
Argentina
2 x PFR E5
Kiln type in operation
300 t/d
Production rate with natural gas / petcoke

Outstanding customer service from Maerz


You have decided to work with Maerz Ofenbau AG. Why Maerz?

The main reason was the long-standing relationship, characterised by positive experiences, which began with the construction of the first Maerz kiln in Argentina in 1987.  Maerz' high performance was impressively demonstrated in the process.

Other decisive criteria are, of course, excellent customer service and the company's development and image.
 

In your project, you decided to expand your existing lime plant with Maerz PFR lime kilns. How did this decision come about?

After a market analysis, we redefined our strategies. We included industrial lime in our product range, which brought improvements in the areas of quality, productivity, safety, service, environment and efficiency, among others. With this clear goal in mind, we allowed ourselves to dream and drew up our first strategic investment plan, which included the construction of the highly efficient Maerz PFR kiln - in the belief that investment means growth and growth means progress.

As a national SME, we were constrained in many ways. We needed help and sought it from technology providers, banks, customers, provincial and national government, who supported us with all the resources at their disposal. We started small. Depending on the resources available, we continuously optimised the processes of the existing kilns and, as soon as our economic situation allowed it, we moved on to bigger technological improvements. An existing kiln with a production capacity of 65 t/d became a 150 t/d kiln with better product quality and higher thermal efficiency at the same time. This approach enabled us to take the final step towards using the best calcining technologies in the world. A path that we are consistently pursuing with the construction of our third Maerz kiln with 300 t/d and the decision to build a fourth kiln.

What are the advantages of Maerz products and services?

Thanks to continuous technological innovations, Maerz kilns have a high degree of automation and great process reliability. Production capacity has been increased and product quality improved. At the same time, operating costs have been reduced thanks to the high thermal efficiency. And all this with a lower environmental impact.

In addition, the support from Maerz' customer service is always uncomplicated and competent.
 

To what extent were your expectations met or - even better - exceeded?

The promised performance was fully met,  including key figures as well as the production rate, which is above par, while maintaining the same product quality.
 

How do you perceive Maerz in terms of sustainability and innovation?

In terms of sustainability and innovation, we see Maerz as a serious and responsible company that is constantly developing its technology, both in terms of processes and the impact of its products on the environment.
 

When you look back, what do you remember most about working with Maerz Ofenbau AG?

The most outstanding feature is the flexibility of the kiln operation, which makes it possible to use different raw materials, grain sizes, fuels in almost any combination. We also have fond memories of the professionalism with which the commissioning was carried out. The support in obtaining financing and loans was also helpful. We appreciated and still appreciate the personal and efficient support in all phases of the project.