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In limestone quarries, the elementary functions of the society are being secured

Tiina Roine (info a, 23 March 2020

Nordkalk is one of the critical companies for Finland’s maintenance and supply security. Limestone-based products are needed for almost everything, but in this exceptional situation caused by the coronavirus, the most critical deliveries are those to water treatment, energy production and fodder industry.

Nordkalk’s sales team feels our customers’ concern for coronavirus's possible impact on lime deliveries more and more as the days go by. The phone keeps ringing and the inbox fills with e-mail requirements as the customers want to find out how Nordkalk will secure the availability of the limestone-based products.

“So far, the coronavirus situation has not had an impact on Nordkalk’s deliveries to the customers. We will, of course, do our best to keep it that way. We have not heard that the needs of our customers would decrease significantly either”, says Anssi Koikkalainen, Sales Director Northern Europe Region.

However, we do have a contingency plan in place should the situation change: “should we need to limit our deliveries, we would first see to the critical customer segments, the functioning of which affects directly the well being of people and animals.”

Nordkalk produces and delivers most of the lime needed by Finland’s water-works. Lime is used both for processing of drinking water and purification of waste water at municipal and industrial water-works. The fodder industry needs lime to ensure the animals’ calcium supply. In electricity and heat production, lime is used for flue gas cleaning. Nordkalk is the main supplier in all these customer segments in Finland.

 Production running normally

The Pargas quarry and grinding plant produce crushed and powdered limestone for water treatment and fodder industry. The lime factory in Pargas delivers quicklime i.e. calcium oxide for flue gas cleaning. Also the Tytyri production plant in Lohja Finland, delivers lime to both water-works and power plants.

In the Pargas quarry, it is business as usual in an unusual situation, says foreman Tomi Korkka: “we wash our hands more often and clean more often and have cut down contacts the best we can, but the shifts are done in teams, e.g. charging is done in pairs. We follow the instructions of the authorities and of the employer and add precautions when needed. On top of all that, all one can do is hope that nobody gets ill.”

The office personnel have been working from home since week 12, but that is not possible in the production. It has not been a big discussion point in the teams as there just isn’t an alternative. One can also look at it from a positive point of view:

“It is important that we keep the wheels of the society turning. Perhaps there is a lesson to be learned from this corona crisis - at least new respect for the work done in society’s basic industries”, contemplates Tomi.

 Text: Anne Foley

Photo: Tatu Lertola

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Excavator operator Benny Wihlman (left) and dump truck operator Aku Kalpa (right) on their way to evening shift in Pargas quarry. Supervisor Tomi Korkka in the middle.

Leader in Northern Europe

Nordkalk is the leading limestone company in Northern Europe. We deliver essential raw materials to numerous industries, and our solutions contribute to clean air and water as well as productivity of agricultural land.