Kalkfabrik Netstal AG

Manufacturer of high-quality lime products in Switzerland

Lime mining Glarus Switzerland

Portrait

KFN is the only producer of quicklime products in Switzerland. The natural limestone that we have been mining for more than a century at the Elggis mountain in the Swiss canton of Glarus is 98 % pure calcium carbonate. Thanks to a geological oddity, in the Swiss canton of Glarus the oldest sedimented lime layers are to be found on the surface. They are the ones with the largest degree of purity – a considerable success factor of our KFN quicklime products. Each year we produce roughly 90,000 metric tons of them for our customers coming from traditional as well as nascent industries. We are linked with them by our passion for pure quality that is to be found both in our production process and in the natural quicklime itself. 

KFN

What defines us

KFN, the only quicklime manufacturer in Switzerland, is mining limestone since 1900. From a humble start on the Elggis mountain in the Swiss canton of Glarus, a geologically unique location for Swiss lime, in nearly 120 years a modern, performing and sustainably successful company has evolved. With a motivated and competent team and a wide range of outstanding quality quicklime, gravel and ballast products, KFN keeps expanding its market share, both within Switzerland and internationally. KFN – that’s modern know-how and 300 million years-old geology for your ideas of the future.

Lime expert

Our location at Netstal

Our roots are our future

Mining for lime demands a high degree of expertise. Only with the knowledge and a feeling for the natural limestone you can sensibly mine lime. Which also explains our strong links to our location. We treasure and maintain our relations to the Netstal village, the Glarus community and to the Swiss canton of the same name, relations that have been strengthened over the many years of our existence. It is our aim to successfully continue producing lime products here in Netstal, being responsible for all the humans living here and for the benefit of all.

Values

Mission statement and quality policy of Kalkfabrik Netstal AG

KFN’s mission statement is the basis for its strategic orientation and documents the values that determine the everyday proceedings at the lime factory.

Our mission statement and our quality policy

Company

Responsible for the Kalkfabrik Netstal AG

Heinz Marti

Dipl.-Ing. ETH/MBA
President & CEO

+41 55 646 92 20
heinz.marti(at)kfn.ch

Dr. Konrad H. Marti

Head of company development 
Member of the board

+41 55 646 92 29
konrad.h.marti(at)kfn.ch

Bernhard Klumpp

Production and operations
Member of the board

+41 55 646 92 27
bernhard.klumpp(at)kfn.ch

Pascal Zäch

Finance and accounting
Member of the board

+41 55 646 92 25
pascal.zaech(at)kfn.ch

Oliver Rohner

Marketing and distribution
Member of the board

+41 55 646 92 16
oliver.rohner(at)kfn.ch

Geology

Lime Region Glarus

A success factor given to us by mother nature

Innovation has a firm tradition in the Swiss community of Glarus. This is the home of numerous successful companies for many decades, and nature adds ideal site conditions. When the Alps were formed some 30 million years ago under immense tectonic pressure, here in the Swiss canton of Glarus the rockbeds were stacked upside down. This is why the oldest limestone stratum, roughly 300 million years old and straight from the depths of the primal ocean, suddenly ended up at the surface. And it is precisely because of this that it has a singular purity reached nowhere else in Switzerland and far beyond Swiss borders: more than 98 % of calcium carbonate. This is a very special gift from mother nature to KFN, a gift we make available to you using our special know-how for your future-minded industrial projects.

Kalkregion Glarus Schweiz
Kalkstein Netstal

Lime

Treasured already by the ancient Romans

Its name alone is history. The word calcium, as the German word for lime, "Kalk", come from the Latin "calx". This term was used, inter alia, to just mean "stone", the ancient Romans used it to describe the natural limestone. Today, we use the word also to describe KFNs refined quicklime and slaked lime, also called calcium hydrate, that are used for numerous industrial purposes.

Limestone

KFN's natural resource

KFN’s natural resource started millions of years ago as sediments of creatures in the primal oceans. Corals, snails or shells shed the calcium carbonate in their skeletons. Over the course of time, they were converted into the mineral lime sediment rockbeds, which ended up upside down here at the Elggis mountain.

Werkstoff Kalk

Lime as a raw material

Valuable throughout the ages

Lime is one of mankind’s oldest raw materials. Archaeological findings in eastern Turkey prove that knowledge of how to mine and process lime was put into practice already 14,000 years ago. The Egyptian pyramids were built from worked limestone blocks and jointed with lime mortar. As was a large part of the Great Wall of China, standing on soil that was solidified using lime. As far as mining and refining of lime is concerned, it was the ancient Romans who first developed a professional industry. Even the job of the lime burner was known by the antique master builders. While part of this knowledge was forgotten in the Middle Ages, it was the alchemists who re-discovered the qualities of lime again. In the 19th century, the professional burning of lime began in Schwanden in the Swiss canton of Glarus. In 1900, the lime quarry of Elggis in Netstal was opened. The history of our “Chalchi”, or KFN, began.

Environment

The future

It is in our hands

KFN produces roughly 90,000 metric tons of quicklime each year. More than a quarter of it is used for environment protection, be it wastewater cleaning, flue gas treatment or the neutralizing of pollutants in industrial wastewaters. But just as our assortment of quicklime products is used for sustainable industrial processes, we at KFN strive to constantly improve our ecological footprint, from mining to questions of logistics. It is our goal to minimize our impact on the environment and to provide optimal working conditions for our staff. Whenever we see the need for action on KFN’s side, we proactively take the necessary steps, in open dialogue with all stakeholders.

Mining for lime

Landscaping and renaturation

Since 1994, we extend our limestone quarry towards the anticline in an environmentally friendly way and in accordance with the decision of the local parliament. The mining project is divided in five stages with an average mining period of 15 years each. We mine from top to bottom. After each mining stage, the mined part is replaced by landscape-appropriate planting, thus ensuring it fits in well with the surrounding landscape. The old quarry is reused as landfill and for the renaturation of the new, southern quarry plot.

Abbau Renaturierung
Kalk Nachhaltigkeit

Lime production

Sustainable for the future generations living in Netstal

Roughly one in every five Swiss francs KFN spends on renovation or a new building project is invested in environment protection measures. These investments include, for example, a charging and dedusting facility for the furnaces, measures to prevent noise emissions, a new furnace concept using a high-performance direct current regenerative furnace and a new waste water treatment facility including sludge treatment. A responsible use of resources and savings on energy and the CO2-emissons also played a significant role in the construction of the new pre-crushing-, gravel conditioning- and filler grinding-plants, of the laboratory buildings, the storage facility, the new office building and the hydrating plant in combination with new central packaging and palleting plant.

Energy efficiency

Saving using innovative solutions

Compared with 2013, KFN is saving roughly 4,700 metric tons of CO2 and 800 megawatt hours of energy each year (as of 2015, according to the EnAW). The switch in 2013 from oil to gas played a major part in that saving. The somewhat aged rotary piston fan at the lime burning oven could be replaced by an innovative solution using hybrid blowers. Each year, this energy-efficient measure means savings of 340 megawatt hours.