Beralmar - Newsletter 94 June 2015
Newsletter 94 - June 2015
Approximate reading time: 5 minutes
  • Ceramics Industry
World pet coke production is growing faster than demand for it.

Energy costs are undoubtedly one of the most significant variables and concerns in the ceramics industry as, depending on the country, the time and the energy consumption in each case, energy represents between 20 and 50% of production costs.

For this reason, and also thanks to the availability of modern combustion technologies, several hundred ceramics plants all around the world have replaced a large part of their natural gas and fuel oil consumption with low-cost solid fuels, above all pet coke.

Energy costs vary significantly in each country, but if you take the case of Spain as a reference, you find that pet coke and natural gas prices in 1981, converted into euros, were €75 per ton of pet coke and €130 per 1,000 m3 of natural gas.

Applying the Spanish National Statistics Institute’s web-based price updating tool, according to inflation in Spain over the 34 years from 1981 to 2015, you can get the equivalent price of these 1981 fuels today and can compare them with actual current prices.


1981 Prices in Spain (1)

1981 Updated to 2015 (2)

Current Prices – June 2015 (3)


(in pesetas)

(in EUR)

Pet Coke (T)

12,500 ESP




Natural Gas (1.000 m3)

21,700 ESP




This interesting exercise leads us to two conclusions:

- Energy was relatively much more expensive in 1981 than it is today.

- Pet coke has come down in price much more than gas: while natural gas costs 56% of what it should have cost if its price had evolved at the same rate as price increases over the last 34 years in Spain, pet coke only costs 39% with respect to its 1981 price.

The main reason for the relative drop in the price of pet coke is the increase in its production. Consumption of it worldwide increases annually, but production increases even more, as the new oil refining technologies give it as a final waste, unlike older refining technologies that gave fuel oil. As oil refineries around the world update their technologies, pet coke production increases and fuel oil production falls, which explains the significant rise in the price of the latter liquid fuel over recent years.

Many clients and friends around the world, doubting whether to opt for pet coke consumption, raise with BERALMAR their fear that pet coke may see price rises like those that have affected other fuels. To be honest, we can say no more than we do not know the future and there are no crystal balls. We can, though, recommend that they look at and take into account the behaviour of pet coke prices over the last 34 years in Spain and in the world in general, which makes you think that investing in solid fuels for firing is apparently a pretty good bet.


(1) BERALMAR’s files.
(2) Spanish National Statistics Institute (INE).
(3) García-Munté Energía S.L. and several Spanish ceramics plants. Price including transport to factory.

  • Corporate

In this twenty-first instalment, you will find chapter 1.16 of the treatise on drying:

Chapter 1.16: Automatic Adjustment in a Dryer.

This instalment completes the treatise on drying. All the following instalments will be for the treatise on firing.

We hope it will be of interest to our readers.


BERALMAR has recruited a new colleague for its Commercial Department in June. Jordi Castellà Balcells (31), who was born in São Paulo (Brazil) and lives in Barcelona, has joined BERALMAR’s team to attend to the needs of the the Indian subcontinent market.

Jordi has had a technical education as he graduated in Industrial Engineering from Madrid’s Carlos III University and has worked in organisations related to renewable energies.

It is worth emphasising that Jordi lived in New Delhi (India) for three years and that, apart from speaking Catalan, Spanish, English and French, he can cope well in Hindi.

We are convinced that with his professional and cultural profile, Jordi will be a great help in developing these markets and we are sure he will settle into BERALMAR’s team quickly.

  • News and Accomplishments
Battery of generators with heat exchanger, consuming almond shells in Spain.

BERALMAR has installed a hot air generator for solid fuels in Morocco, specifically in the BRIQUETERIE SAMARRA in Tangier.

The fuel used is olive pomace, the most widely available and cheapest biomass in Morocco. With this investment, BRIQUETERIE SAMARRA achieves its objective of replacing 100% of its fuel oil consumption, a very expensive fuel in Morocco, with olive pomace. Taking current fuel prices into account, where each therm obtained from pomace combustion costs 35% of the cost of a therm from fuel oil, the investment will be recovered in a few months and very significant savings will be made, in addition to the environmental benefits. As regards the dryer, this will continue to receive the same flow of clean hot air that it needs.

This is the tenth biomass heat generator BERALMAR has installed in Morocco in a short period and on this occasion the client opted for a model GB generator. This provides biomass combustion and heat exchange is a single machine to supply clean air to the dryer at a maximum of 150ºC.

BERALMAR offers a wide range of solutions for biomass consumption in dryers. The same solution applied in BRIQUETERIE SAMARRA was also chosen recently by BRIQUETERIE SALAMABRIQ in Nador. Other clients in Morocco have opted for other solutions BERALMAR offers, such as MIDABRIQ (Midar), MABROUKA and SONABRIQ (Nador) and CERAMICA DE TETOUAN (Tetouan), for example, which opted for a solution made up of a PULS model solid-fuel combustion chamber coupled to a heat exchanger and BRIQUETERIE BATI CHAOUIA (Casablanca) which opted to install a direct firing solid-fuel combustion chamber in each of its three rapid dryers.

We thank BRIQUETERIE SAMARRA again for their repeated trust in BERALMAR! | Change language | Unsubscribe | Disclaimer
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