Newsletter 128 - July/August 2018
Approximate reading time: 5 minutes

Success Stories


News and Accomplishments

Success Stories

Origin of the project

The LADRILLERA SANTA FE (Bogotá, Colombia) is the ceramics group with the largest production in all of Latin America. With 6 kilns distributed over two plants less than 5 kilometres from each other in the outskirts of the Colombian capital, the group sells more than 2500 tonnes of bricks a day.

In 2009 the group already tried firing using coal in a few of its kilns, but unfortunately the results weren’t satisfactory enough to warrant extending the use of this fuel to all of them. The coal in Colombia is of extraordinary quality, often about 7000 Kcal/kg (30,000 Kj/kg), with a moderate presence of ash (<12%), and a high content of volatile matter (>30%). Furthermore, it is very economical, especially compared to the natural gas which LADRILLERA SANTA FE used to consume, which was becoming increasingly more expensive at the time when they contacted BERALMAR to study the use of coal facilities for all the group's kilns.

Execution of the project

Within two years, BERALMAR coal combustion facilities were installed in all LADRILLERA SANTA FE kilns.

Since all the kilns are distributed over two plants, the implemented solution involved supplying BERALMAR’s centralized grinding stations with rotary mills to feed dry and micronized coal of less than 100 microns to the new MICROMATIC facilities formed by silos equipped with all the anti-explosive safety measures. From these, separate pneumatic circuits—one for each kiln—distributed and dosed the coal according to the temperature set points.

With BERALMAR’s technology and experience and the high quality of Colombian coal, the result was a huge success.

One of the grinding stations, with rotary mills supplied by BERALMAR feeding dry and micronized fuel to the storage silos.

Another grinding station. Four were installed in total.

Kiln car fired entirely using coal.

LADRILLERA SANTA FE executives during a visit to BERALMAR in 2014.


We often find that it is the independent, or family-owned, brick plants which are the first to adopt cheaper fuels, in contrast to large ceramics groups, with some exceptions, which tend to be more cautious.

The case of LADRILLERA SANTA FE, which as we mentioned is the largest ceramics group in all of Latin America, shows how an agile and radical decision making process in this regard is also possible in large groups. Everything that makes technical and economic sense on a small scale can equally be applied on a larger scale.

At present, the price of a therm of coal in Colombia is 7 times lower than a therm of gas. Taking into account the production volume of LADRILLERA SANTA FE, it’s not hard to appreciate the enormous savings generated by these combustion facilities. This fact, added to the firing quality obtained, makes this case a huge success story.

The next case study will be published in Newsletter no. 130 in October 2018.


On July 13, the official opening ceremony of ASTANA CERAMIC took place, the new plant supplied by BERALMAR in Kazakhstan which we referred to in the previous edition of the Newsletter.

The opening was attended by investment partners, employees of the plant and family members, the factory’s main suppliers with BERALMAR at the forefront, several authorities and a few other ceramists from the country.

Ramon Sarió, Cristóbal Caparrós and Enric Simón attended on behalf of BERALMAR.

The organization was impeccable and moreover, the weather held up, allowing attendees to eat standing under magnificent marquees in a very upbeat and relaxed atmosphere, enlivened by traditional Kazakh dancing and music, speeches by the owners, suppliers and authorities, and finally a visit inside the factory that left a very good impression among the attendees.

As we explained in the previous Newsletter, ASTANA CERAMIC has been designed to be the most competitive factory possible: versatile production with a wide variety of products, very low thermal consumption, very few mechanisms thanks to the direct kiln car stacking dryer and very low energy costs thanks to consumption exclusively of local coal. All designed to minimize operating costs.

We’d like to emphasize the extreme kindness and hospitality shown to us at all times by the owning partners of ASTANA CERAMIC, not only on the day of the opening ceremony. Acts and attitudes like these are very useful in reminding everyone of the essential mission of our company.

We wish ASTANA CERAMIC a long and successful life and would like them to know that they can count on BERALMAR’s collaboration for many years to come.

Owners, suppliers and main authorities in attendance.


Kazakh music and dancing.


BERALMAR’s Managing Director, Ramon Sarió, during his speech at the ceremony.


Toast to the future of ASTANA CERAMIC.

View from the control room.


Kiln car green stacking area.

The event brought together more than 100 people.


Drying tunnels exit area.

News and Accomplishments

BERALMAR has commissioned a new very special dryer in Almería (Spain), for the COSENTINO group.

COSENTINO is mainly known for being the manufacturer of SILESTONE, the successful and versatile material made from granite for kitchen and bathroom countertops that has turned the Andalusian company into a giant, with more than one billion euros of annual turnover, and the undisputed leader in its sector.

Five years ago COSENTINO launched DEKTON, a new product destined to be as successful as its predecessor. A ceramic material, unlike SILESTONE, composed of clay, glass and other components, with which the company manufactures compact surfaces of up to 3600 x 1700 mm in size and thicknesses of between 8 and 30 mm.

The surfaces are pressed in a sintering and ultra-compaction process which produces a perfect product with absolutely no porosity and a total absence of micro-defects.

Although the moisture to be removed from these large surfaces is low, this complete lack of porosity of the DEKTON material indicates just how careful and precise the control of the drying cycle must be.

BERALMAR was chosen to supply an 8-chamber dryer for a production of up to 1107 tonnes/day (for the lowest cycle formats). Despite very tight time deadlines for the execution of the project and very high quality requirements, the commissioning of the new dryer for DEKTON surfaces has been carried out on time and fulfilling all expectations.

We would like to thank COSENTINO for their trust in BERALMAR and wish them the same success with DEKTON as they achieved with SILESTONE.

The versatility of DEKTON surfaces: applicable both to kitchens and bathrooms and to facades and paving stones.


A very precise and strict control of the process is essential for drying the DEKTON material.

Beralmar, 50 years with you!
BERALMAR TECNOLOGIC S.A · Avda. Valles 304 · Terrassa, B 08220 · Spain
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