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Official opening of Cemex Tilbury plant

World Cement,

On 22 September 2009, Cemex opened a new cement grinding and blending plant at the port of Tilbury in Essex. The plant is the biggest industry investment of the last five years in the UK, demonstrating a strong commitment from the Mexican-based cement producer to both the UK and to sustainable construction. The company currently invests more than £60 million annually in the country.

The plant, which is the only operational cement plant in the southeast of England, was officially opened in the presence of 150 guests by Shahid Malik, Parlimentary Under Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, and Minister of the Thames Gateway with Cemex’s President of Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia, Juan Romero.

Cemex acquired the Tilbury site in 2005 as part of an RMC acquisition. It has been used in recent years to import cement; with 11 m of water at each berth, the plant facilitates sustainable barge deliveries and can handle ships up to 30 000 t. Just 25 miles from central London, it is an ideal location for grinding and blending cement to distribute to the local market.

The 1.2 million tpa plant has been under construction for the past two years. With 150 contractors on site each day, using 6000 m3 of concrete, 26 miles of electric cabling, nearly 3000 t of steel, 450+ t of reinforcing bar and five finished products silos, the completed £49 million investment is expected to increase Cemex UK’s cement capacity by 20%.

The Tilbury plant is capable of producing three types of cement: the standard CEM1 (cement clinker and gypsum), along with CEM2 (70% CEM1 and 30% flyash) and CEM3 (50% CEM1 and 50% ground granulated blastfurnace slag). The embodied CO2 content of the CEM1 has been lowered through use of alternative fuels and alternative raw materials. The embodied CO2 content of CEM2 is nearly 30% less than CEM1, and CEM2 concrete has 14% less ecopoints than CEM1 only. The embodied CO2 content of CEM3 is around 45% less than CEM1, and CEM3 concrete has 26% less ecopoints than CEM1.

Tilbury has the first vertical roller mill in the country, which uses 20 – 40% less energy than the traditional, horizontal mill, further reducing the plant’s carbon footprint.

The plant has been nominated for the Mineral Products Association award for safe control of contractors, and has been awarded British Standards Institute Accreditation and ISO14001 environmental accreditation.

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