The Swedish company Nordkalk Corporation is restarting production and recruiting more staff in the Louhi limestone plant in Savonlinna, eastern Finland, which also includes a lime kiln, slaking plant and grinding plant. The slaking and grinding plants have been running continuously but the limestone production has been on stand-by since 2009 due to the declining market situation.
According to Jarkko Kaplin, Division Director of Pulp&Paper & Finland Division at Nordkalk, the quarrying of limestone will restart in August 2013 and the kiln producing quicklime will also start up. “Thanks to successful sales efforts, it is now possible to restart production. We also believe that demand for limestone-based products will increase especially in Eastern and Northern Finland,” says Kaplin.
Cleantech applications increase demand
Demand is also growing for slaked lime which is used in water treatment, the cleaning of flue gases at power plants, and for the concentration processes in metal mines. Granules of slaked lime can also be used in the desulphuration of ships’ exhaust gases when the EU’s Sulphur Directive comes into force in 2015. The directive sets the maximum level for sulphur content of marine fuels used in vessels on the Baltic Sea, North Sea and the English Channel at 0.1%.
These kind of cleantech applications will be a focal part of Nordkalk’s product supply in the future, according to Kaplin. As a result of increasing production, the number of Nordkalk’s personnel in Louhi will increase to about 30. Nordkalk also has a limestone mine in Tytyri, southern Finland, which employs 70 people.
Nordkalk operates in nine countries and its turnover was EUR 351 million in 2012.