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Russian natural gas distribution: an ongoing conflict
The new year was rung in with a new chapter, and probably not the last, in the long-running energy dispute affecting Russian natural gas distribution in Europe, especially Central and Southeast Europe. It is an eminently geopolitical debate which we have no intention of analysing here. But as gas consumers, this incident affects our industry, which would be dealt a heavy blow if ever the supply of natural gas were to cease or if the situation should result in price increases. In fact, international media currently report various pressure drops and a reduction in gas quality from Russia in many countries in the region. Among other things, these events have forced the government of Bulgaria, which depends entirely on Russia for its gas supply, to advise industrial consumers to switch from gas to other energy sources.
The most logical response from the ceramic industry would be to stop using natural gas to the extent possible, in order to minimise the impact of the conflict. In the current economic context, in which energy consumption is such a critical variable for a ceramics firing installation, the industry cannot afford the luxury of high energy costs and much less feeling the strength of geopolitical winds.
Among other equipment for the ceramic industry, BERALMAR manufactures combustion plant for gas, fuel oil and solid fuels. This complete range of combustion equipment allows us to offer solutions based purely on energy rationale, not conditioned by limitations in our product range. BERALMAR has already set up solid-fuel (coal, petcoke) firing plants in countries potentially affected by this dispute, such as Poland, Hungary and Serbia. We believe that, beyond the special savings they entail, they are the best way of staying altogether above the fray in the Russian gas debacle.
Reference list of solid-fuel firing plants
BERALMAR’s website has recently been updated with a new reference list of all the solid-fuel firing systems built since 2000.
The list speaks for itself. In only the past 8 years, BERALMAR has installed 88 systems of this type, which amounts to an average of one per month.
Important new hire in the Software Department
BERALMAR is pleased to announce an important addition to its team. Effectively immediately, Francesc Garriga (55), a senior engineer, is the Director of the Software Department.
Francesc joins BERALMAR after a long career in the ceramic industry with companies such as LINGL and AGEMAC. He brings experience and professional stability to the BERALMAR engineering team.
News and Accomplishments
Gas installations in Spain
BERALMAR is commissioning three gas firing installations in three separate CERÁMICA GARCÍA CUESTA kilns in Nava de la Asunción (Segovia, Spain).
What is noteworthy about these units is the reason why they are being installed. The three kilns were powered by fuel oil which, as we pointed out in our 23rd Newsletter in October, 2008, has become the most expensive fuel in Spain.
Most of the natural gas in the country arrives from Algeria. The possibility of using natural gas as a fuel to save on the energy costs was unthinkable until very recently, while now these units will pay for themselves in a few months.