Joint XINFA and Grenzebach project sets new standards in plasterboard production

07.03.2022 - In cooperation with XINFA GROUP, Grenzebach has carried out a project of superlatives in China: Stucco is produced at a rate of 100 tons per hour.

  • Chinese XINFA Group successfully launches impressive entry into plasterboard production with an annual output of 120 million square meters.
  • Start of processing synthetic gypsum from its own power stations marks another milestone in XINFA's history.
  • Grenzebach is the General Contractor and supplies the entire process equipment.



BAD HERSFELD, Germany / JIASHAN, China / CHIPING-LIAOCHENG, China. In cooperation with XINFA GROUP, Grenzebach has carried out a project of superlatives in China. Stucco is produced from synthetic flue-gas desulphurization (FGD) gypsum at a rate of 100 tons per hour. Seven calcining lines are in operation to handle that volume. Two plasterboard lines running at 120 meters/minute were set up for efficient processing of the entire stucco quantity into plasterboard in a single factory building. "In Grenzebach we have found a highly competent and experienced partner who supplied us with the complete machinery and the necessary know-how and took care of the installation work up to commissioning of the plasterboard facility," says Yanhui Zhang, Plasterboard Factory Director at XINFA Group.

With an annual output totaling 120 million square meters, the company, headquartered in Chiping-Liaocheng, Shandong province, makes an impressive entry into the plasterboard market. The XINFA factory with its two production lines is among the world's biggest plasterboard facilities.

Plasterboard is a strategic addition to XINFA's value-added processes

XINFA is the world's third largest producer of aluminum. Aluminum production requires a lot of electrical energy, and that is why the group also operates its own power stations. "Using the synthetic FGD gypsum obtained as a by-product from the desulphurization of our power station exhaust to produce our own plasterboard means an important strategic step forward," explains Yanhui Zhang. The launch of its plasterboard production demonstrates the company's pioneering spirit and at the same time provides for sustainable utilization of its by-products. In addition to the gypsum raw material, the low-pressure steam from the power stations also finds a good use, in heating the dryer – an extra benefit that XINFA group identified in this project.

120 million square meters of plasterboard per year

Grenzebach had the role of the General Contractor and was in charge of planning and implementing the project. Its range of tasks included developing the plant concept, planning and dimensioning the infrastructure and energy supply systems, developing the entire production and warehouse logistics concept, and installation and commissioning of the production facilities. Grenzebach thought ahead from the start in dealing with these tasks and already took future XINFA capacity upgrades into account: The complete utilities, infrastructure and warehousing areas are dimensioned for no less than four plasterboard lines.

The two plasterboard lines were commissioned in early 2021. The product range consists of building boards of various thickness and sizes. The boards are 6 to 15 mm thick, approx. 1,200 mm wide and 1,800 to 3,600 mm long. In addition to standard boards, fire-resistant and moisture-resistant types are to be produced as well. Each board line features two state-of-the art packaging lines and a dunnage system with enough performance for all packaging lines. "In cooperation with Grenzebach we have been able to start processing FGD gypsum into plasterboard and create added value at our own factory. Our entry into the national and international gypsum markets a year ago was successful. We are most satisfied with the production and the plasterboard quality," underlines Yanhui Zhang of XINFA Group.

Fast and smooth commissioning despite current challenges

In a concerted effort, the teams of Grenzebach experts at the locations in Jiashan (China) and Bad Hersfeld (Germany) were able to offer XINFA within the shortest possible time the best possible concept for implementation of the mega project. "We are committed to providing our customers with our best support and assistance throughout all stages of a project," says Marc Engelhardt, Vice President Engineering at Grenzebach BSH GmbH. Commissioning the two production lines in a year dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic meant a particular challenge to the project team. Thanks to the close collaboration of all the staff involved, Grenzebach was able to make sure this mega project could be completed very quickly indeed. "The efficiency of our international footprint took full effect here," says Marc Engelhardt. The Grenzebach team also engaged in close dialogue with the authorities to prevent the project schedule from being put at risk and to make sure the necessary specialists from Germany could travel to China at the right time. The pronounced flexibility and close coordination of everyone involved meant that the plant could go into operation on schedule.

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