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Cutting-edge Metso plant for Betonex’s new Algerian quarry

First publishedin Aggregates Business International
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Betonex Algeria
Betonex is ramping up its production capacity to meet the growing demand for aggregates in the construction sector

Betonex is expecting great results from its newly operational Metso crushing and screening plant at one of the company’s flagship Algerian quarries. For Betonex, quality and quantity of the aggregates products goes hand in glove with the best health and safety standards. Guy Woodford reports.

Algeria is the largest country in Africa, located in the north of the continent. It is a nation that has experienced a steady growth in the aggregates market since the early 2000s, thanks to continuous government investment in new infrastructure.

In 2015 Betonex and Metso signed a contract for the design, delivery and installation of a complete crushing and screening plant at Betonex’s newest quarry in El Hamra-Mansourah, in the Bordj Bou Arréridj region of Algeria. The state-of-the-art plant was required to fulfil growing market demand for building materials and to allow Betonex to exceed its annual production of 3 million tonnes of aggregates production. The first products produced with the new Metso plant rolled off the conveyors at the end 2017.

Betonex, part of the Benseba Group, has a long history of working with Metso.

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Betonex installation
Betonex's first Metso plant installation in the Bordj Bou Arréridj region opened in 2008

The first joint project took place in 2008, at the company’s other operation, El Mehir Agrégats. “We chose Metso for our second installation following the technical advice and recommendations on spare parts linked to our first investment. Metso operates in Algeria and imports spare parts on our behalf, making it easier for us to service and maintain our facilities,” says Karim Benseba, who succeeded his father as the manager of Betonex and the Benseba Group.

The market demand for aggregates in the construction sector continues to be high in Algeria with governmental programmes focusing on public works, such as housing projects, extending road and highway infrastructures such as the Hauts Plateaux highway, and the new expressway between Anhif and Bejaia. A great deal of investment is also being made in improving the country’s railway sector.

Betonex was quick to seize the opportunity to grow: “In 2012, we decided to invest in a 500 tonne per hour installation. Our goal is to exceed 3 million tonnes per year,” explains Benseba.

A complete aggregates plant solution was commissioned from Metso to grow the business. “The project specifications focused as much on the health, security and environmental aspects for the operators as the production output,” explains Pierre Taoufik, project manager at Metso. “Metso’s plant solution includes feeders, conveyors, crushers and screens, a dust suppression system as well as a complete automation system. For the primary stage, Metso installed a Nordberg C160 jaw crusher and a PREMIER ES horizontal screen, the first ones in Algeria.”

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Karim Benseba
Karim Benseba, manager of Betonex, is the second generation of his family to run the Benseba Group

Renowned for their higher reduction ratio and reliability, Nordberg C Series jaw crushers were originally developed to crush the hardest ores and rocks so they are said to perform extremely well also in less demanding applications, such as soft rock, recycling and slag.

Metso PREMIER ES horizontal screens combine horizontal decks, high acceleration and aggressive elliptical vibration to ensure strong stratification of the bed depth, and the highest screening accuracy.

In compliance with Algerian standards for aggregates, Betonex’s company goal is to produce high level aggregates mirroring European standards.

Illustrating his firm’s commitment to quality onsite health and safety, Benseba says: “We installed footbridges along each conveyor. The tunnel is equipped with a camera, auditory alarms and emergency stops so that operators can work at ease in a more secure environment.”

As part of the new Metso plant installation, Betonex is investing in hi-tech dust suppression equipment. The reasons for minimising dust are three fold; employee health and safety , and to benefit the environment as a whole. Benseba adds: “We believe that protecting the environment should be everyone’s business. It is in the nature of crushing that there is a lot of dust. We want to implement an overall environmental plan at the outset. 

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Sustainable development
Betonex understands the need for sustainable development with its new 500tonne/hour Metso plant, which offers increased operator safety and reduced dust emissions

“Metso took part in a study of dust reduction with us. They recommended atomisation at the primary stage and confinement at the secondary stage. Through Metso’s experience I believe we’ll have good results aligned to our production goal.”

The local presence and crushing process knowledge of the Metso team in Algeria, and the ability of Metso to swiftly source wear and spare parts, is said by Benseba to be fundamentally important in enabling Betonex to meet its growth goal at the new El Hamra-Mansourah quarry plant.

“Metso has always accompanied us and I believe that it’s a duty for a hardware supplier to accompany the customer in all stages of the project: plant design and also in the after-sales service. We succeeded in choosing the right equipment for our process through the help and knowledge of Metso experts. This is what a true partnership is,” concludes Benseba.

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