70 percent of products are exported, the growth rate of which in the first half of the year was 238 percent: Belarusian Cement Plant is increasing its economic performance
The Belarusian Cement Plant (BCP) in Kostyukovichi is the most productive in its industry in Belarus. The numbers speak for themselves: in 2022, the country produced 3.7 million tonnes of cement, and two of them were manufactured by the BCP. For labour merits, the industrial giant has been awarded the challenge banner of the Belarusian Cement Company for two years in a row. How are things going at the company today? To answer this question, The MT correspondent visited Kostyukovichi.
Get the maximum
Director General Igor Sergeev began the conversation with impressive indicators, “In 2021, we reached an unprecedented mark, producing 2 million thousand tonnes of cement. And at the end of last year, we updated our own record, having already produced 2 million 27 thousand tonnes. Our production capacity utilisation exceeds 94 percent. Also, we are selling well despite the sanctions restrictions. About 70 percent of products are exported, the main consumer is the Russian Federation.”
During the first half of the year, the Belarusian Cement Plant produced 939.8 thousand tonnes of cement (103.1 percent compared to the same period in 2022). Over a million tonnes of cement were sold, including 718.9 thousand tonnes for export (238 percent compared to the same period last year).
Another worthy indicator is the ratio of finished goods inventories to the average monthly production volume, which as of July 1st was equal to 38.9 percent. This is the result of the dynamic and stable shipping activities of the company. The profitability of sales for seven months was 5.9 percent, and the profitability of product sales was 6.7.
“An external threat at the Belarusian borders, Western sanctions, the recent pandemic and its ‘fruits’. Indeed, we live in difficult times. And the best thing that industry can do for the country, for the Motherland, is to lend a helping hand in economic terms. Our entire team of two thousand people understands this, each employee gives his all in the area entrusted to him or her,” the plant manager expresses his opinion.
Assignment for tomorrow
At the same time, Belarusian Cement Plant is not going to rest on its laurels and is already looking to the future. Deputy Director General – Chief Engineer of the enterprise Vladimir Drovalev clarifies, “We have two production lines, one of which was launched back in 1996, the second is more modern. Despite the identical ‘skeleton’, their auxiliary equipment and operating technology are completely different, and hence their performance and energy consumption differ. The past century and the new. Therefore, we have two medium-term modernisation projects.”
The first, according to the interlocutor, concerns the technical update of the flour and cement supply system from pneumatic to mechanised on the first cement production line. The expected result is energy savings and a resulting reduction in production costs by 10-15 percent.
The implementation of the second project involves the reconstruction of the old line by analogy with the new one. There will be a two-stage grinding — coarse and fine. As a result, the line’s productivity will increase by at least 150 tonnes, or almost 100 percent.
BCP is also reconstructing air filters to reduce the concentration of substance emissions and energy consumption.
The foundation for the future is also about young personnel. Since the plant is quite young, it is too early to talk about labour dynasties, but the continuity of generations is definitely present here. The company employs 156 families in various combinations: husband-wife, parents-children. The mentoring institute is also being successfully implemented. In 2023, the team was replenished with 25 young specialists and workers, who were taken under their wing by experienced colleagues.
The benefits of this practice were appreciated by Control Panel Burner Maxim Radchenko a year ago, “Both my parents work at the factory. I saw that they had a decent salary, a good benefits package, and a friendly team. I wanted to follow in their footsteps, so I studied in the target direction, I don’t regret my choice. I control the process of roasting raw flour; when I start a shift, the first thing I do is check all the parameters on the computer, then I control the process. You need an understanding of what is happening, you also need perseverance and scrupulousness, because the slightest mistake, and you risk ruining the entire batch of cement. Fortunately, I had a good mentor who taught me everything. I contacted him with all my questions and received clear and comprehensive explanations.”
The mentor — Deputy Head of the ‘Baking’ Workshop Igor Kolosov — is still nearby, although the young specialist’s training has officially ended, “I have been at the plant for almost 30 years, but I remember very well my first steps in the profession. I teach the same way I was taught. Starting with the basics, so that young people understand where they have come and what is required of them. We are gradually sculpting specialists, high-class professionals, because firing is the heart of the enterprise, without it nothing will happen. At the same time, I would like to emphasise that very good young people come to us both from institutes and technical schools. Competent, smart, more efficient. I’m not worried about the future of the plant, a worthy replacement is growing!”
WHERE TO LOOK
The Minsk National Airport, Belarusian Nuclear Power Plant, large bypass roads and other important facilities were built, among other things, from Kostyukovichi
When the decision was made to build the plant in 1987, it was a risky experiment. The first experience in the production of cement using a dry method from high-moisture raw materials. There were no analogues either in Europe or in the European part of the Soviet Union.