LOESCHE Mobile Coal Grinding Plant

Posted in: , on 9. Feb. 2012 - 11:55

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Mobile coal grinding plant to supply thermal processes with economical and environmentally efficient fuel

Loesche presents the world's first mobile coal grinding plant, which reduces energy costs for thermal processes by up to 60 percent.

Loesche concentrates decades of experience with large-scale plants into a few containers.

With the mobile, containerised coal grinding plant CGPmobile, which Loesche has developed and is now revealing to the professional world, operators of asphalt mixing plants and dry-grinding plants can reduce the energy costs for thermal processes by up to 60 percent.

The very first containerised CGPmobile plant (CGP = Coal Grinding Plant) was rolled out on 13 October as part of a customer open day at Linstal in Jasien, Poland. Among those participating in the event were industry professionals from South America, Africa and Asia, who had indicated their interest in the new system in the run-up to the launch. The plant is currently undergoing rigorous testing under realistic conditions.

The new CGPmobile plant grinds coal into coal dust, which can then be used to power thermal plants much more efficiently than gas or oil. The coal dust can be burnt and used in asphalt mixing plants, in the cement industry, for drying processes and for decentralised power generation, in order to generate process heat or steam.

Coal dust reduces energy costs drastically, particularly in countries where there is a big difference in price between coal on one hand and gas or oil on the other. Here, these plants pay for themselves in less than two years.

An example calculation shows that fuel costs with coal dust furnaces are a mere EUR 630,000 to 830,000 per year in a typical asphalt mixing plant with a burner output of 16 MW and a capacity of 240 t/h. For gas, the equivalent figure would be as much as EUR 2.3 million, and for heating fuel oil as much as EUR 2.1 million. If conventional heating fuel oil is replaced by coal dust, the cost saving is around 60 percent.

The new, containerised CGPmobile plant during roll-out in Jasien, Poland

Decades of experience crammed into a few containers

Loesche developed the CGPmobile plant for mobile use. The individual modules fit in just a few ISO sea containers, which can be transported on any container ship and carried by lorry on any road. The plant does not need any foundations and is simply assembled on compacted soil. In less than three weeks, it can be fully assembled and ready for operation on-site. At the end of the project, it takes just one week to disassemble.

The new system became possible when Loesche and Lintec came together and pooled their specialist knowledge. Loesche brought their decades of experience in the construction of grinding plants and hot-gas generators to the table and combined this with Lintec's expertise in the field of containerised, mobile plants.

All the plants are fitted with the necessary components as standard, including a complete set of measurement and control technology, and work as a stand-alone system. The modern plant controls also make them straightforward to operate.

Production of the zero series is already underway, so Loesche can offer its customers a delivery time of three months. If we estimate three months for transportation, assembly of the first plants can begin on-site in six months.

Ideal for the world's growing economies

Industries that need process heat and steam, but do not have a central grinding plant on-site, can all be considered as potential buyers of the mobile plants. The lack of this kind of facility may be due to the fact that there is no infrastructure in place for the transportation of coal dust over larger distances.

Loesche devised CGPmobile first and foremost for countries where there are large differences between the price of coal and the price of gas and oil. This situation is most common in growth areas such as the CIS countries, India, Asia, Africa and South America. CGPmobile is also well suited for countries where coal is readily available, but oil and gas are hard to obtain.

Coal dust saves primary energy and preserves resources

In many parts of the world, there is a great need to substitute gas and oil with coal in order to make cost savings on primary energy. Burning coal in lump form is an inefficient method in the majority of situations. Grinding the coal into coal dust means that it burns very efficiently and also saves on resources. With good capacity utilisation, you can make a significant saving on primary energy. In many cases, the investment will pay for itself in less than two years. The various differences between the prices for coal and oil in the individual countries must be taken into consideration. These range from 1:3 to 1:5 depending on the specific fuel value.

Furthermore, burning the coal dust under optimal conditions – like in the new plants – will also reduce the amount of CO2 polluting the environment.

Matthias Authenrieth, Head of "Thermal Applications & Automation" at Loesche GmbH, is an advocate of the use of coal under optimal conditions: "Either we look on indifferently as coal is burnt using inadequate technology in what is a more or less uncontrolled fashion, or we are proactive and support users by supplying state-of-the-art technology to burn coal in a highly efficient, optimal way, while keeping emissions to a minimum. By developing the CGPmobile, we evidently chose the second option. "

Price stability is another benefit provided by coal. While prices for oil and gas fluctuate heavily, coal suppliers often agree to long-term contracts. For the user, this represents a significant competitive advantage because they can base their calculations on stable prices. What's more, coal reserves are expected to last for a long time in many countries, whereas oil and gas are becoming scarce.

Leasing is also an option for the plants. The monthly savings on energy costs alone make this financially worthwhile.

All the components of the CGPmobile plant are installed in ISO sea containers.

The technology in detail

Loesche devised CGPmobile for different types of coal, from brown coal to anthracite coal with grain sizes of up to 120 mm.

At the core of each plant is the Loesche mill, with its throughput of 2 to 4 t/h. The coal is ground between the rotating grinding track and the grinding roller. The dust generated is transported up to a classifier by a hot-air flow, which dries the material at the same time. The finished product is discharged into a silo, while the larger grains fall back into the mill. With this reliable process, Loesche is thus able to achieve a uniform distribution of grain sizes. The fineness of the coal dust leaving the plant is between 5 and 45 percent R 90 m.

Loesche generates the hot gas required for the grinding process using the Loesche steel combustion chamber-based LOMA heater (LOMA = Lochmantel meaning 'perforated jacket'), which the company developed in-house.

Each plant is made of standardised components, is manufactured industrially and assembled by Linstal and is then tested extensively by the Loesche commissioning team. This standardisation is also beneficial in that it means wearing and spare parts are readily available.

The emission values are compliant with TA Luft [German Technical Instructions on Air Quality Control], while the safety concept was designed in accordance with ATEX (optional NEC). Together these ensure that the approval procedures run smoothly on-site.

Various Applications


In road construction, asphalt mixing plants remain gas or oil-operated by and large. Asphalt plants are mostly bought for a specific project and can pay for themselves across a project duration of 24 months, for example. Afterwards, they are sold on the second-hand market or used for other projects. The Loesche concept really suits this type of operation because the pay-back cycle is so similar. The cost saving is so big that the CGPmobile plant will completely pay for itself over a project lasting just 24 months.

For instance, a new road could be built using several asphalt mixing plants, with a CGPmobile supplying all mixing plants. This would mean that the coal dust only needs to be transported short distances by lorry.

In road construction, fast availability is very important to avoid too much time being lost between when construction decisions are made and when the plants are ready for operation.

Decentralised energy supply

There is great demand worldwide for decentralised electrical power supplies in the several MW range. However, the only transportable diesel generators available are those with capacities of around 1 MW. If a higher capacity is required, these have to be cascaded, which involves a significant amount of investment. There is an urgent need for generators with a capacity of between 1 and 5 MW in regions such as India, South East Asia, Africa and Central and South America.

The CGPmobile will bridge the gap here in future. Even with a conservative overall efficiency estimate of just 25 percent, an individual generator fuelled by coal dust will generate 5 MW of electrical power. Loesche is working intensively to find a complete solution in this area.


Coal dust can also be utilised for drying a diverse range of materials, including ores, minerals, tailings, slurries, waste, biomass and even food and animal feed. Comparably small coal grinding plants slotted in upstream of the processes will also reduce energy costs drastically.


The plants are also a perfect solution when it comes to heating industrial plants, mines and collieries, greenhouses, housing developments and industrial sites, because they convert the primary energy effectively and ultimately reduce heating costs.

Cement industry

Loesche used to build large-scale mills with throughputs of up to 300 t/h for the cement industry. However, many smaller sites in growth regions currently work with a capacity of 200–300,000 tonnes of cement each year, and will be able to significantly decrease their energy costs with the CGPmobile plants.

About Loesche

Loesche is an owner-managed, export-oriented company, which was founded in Berlin in 1906. Today, the company operates from its head office in Düsseldorf and has subsidiaries, representatives and agencies around the world.

It was in 1928 that Loesche built the first spring-loaded air-flow mills, which even today are still known as Loesche mills. Nowadays, Loesche vertical mills form the core of many plants used to dry-grind coal, cement raw materials, granulated slag, industrial minerals and ores.

Thanks to its grinding plants with throughputs of 2 to 300 t/h for the cement industry and self-inert, central coal-grinding plants for hard and brown coal power stations, Loesche is the global market leader for vertical mills and turnkey grinding mills.

Loesche supplies turnkey plants, which are individually planned and built for the required process steps. This includes plants for processing, material storage, transportation and delivery, vertical mills, hot-gas generators, filter and separator systems, complete automation technology, plants for all aspects of construction above and below ground, steel construction and piping systems.

The company has EN ISO 9001 certification and the grinding plants themselves are compliant with national and international safety regulations.

At present, around 330 people are employed at the company's head office in Düsseldorf, with around 600 employed worldwide.

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