The environmental and community outreach initiatives of four North American cement plants were celebrated at the 11th Annual Cement Industry Environment and Energy Awards in Chicago last week. The awards were set up in 2000 by the Portland Cement Association (PCA), in order to recognise the efforts of US cement plants in addressing environmental, sustainability and local community issues.
Nineteen plants were nominated this year. However, Cemex’s Louisville plant dominated the awards, winning in three categories: ‘Overall Environmental Excellence’, ‘Innovation’ and ‘Energy Efficiency’. The Kentucky-based plant earned the ‘Innovation’ award by replacing a traditional pug mill with a pug screw, thereby increasing grinding efficiency and reducing maintenance needs and downtime. The change resulted in energy savings of 620 000 kWh, approximately 80%. This action was one of the reasons why the plant also won the ‘Overall Environmental Excellence’ award, in addition to an alternative fuels programme and its wildlife and habitat initiatives.
Holcim’s Theodore plant received the award for ‘Environmental Performance’ after lowering emissions and reducing the use of traditional fuels. In 2011, the plant substituted over 25 000 t of traditional fuels with alternative fuels such as tyres, wood chips and oil absorbent materials from the 2010 BP oil spill. St Marys Cement was recognised for ‘Land Stewardship’ for its work in Michigan. The company formed a partnership with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to remove residual dump materials and use them as feedstock for cement kilns. The firm also worked with local municipalities to convert old cement haul rail lines into community nature trails. The Roanake Cement Company came out on top in the ‘Outreach’ category for its work with local community initiatives in Troutville, VA, such as plant visits from high school physics students.
Brian McCarthy, PCA president and CEO, said of the awards: “Although it is one of the most highly regulated industry sectors in the United States, cement companies are consistently challenging manufacturing policies and procedures and are on the forefront of new technologies to make their plants more energy efficient and to become better stewards of the land and resources. Making a quality product is not enough. These and other cement companies take extra steps to ensure their communities are excellent places to work, live and learn.”
Adapted from press release by Louise Fordham.
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcement.com/the-americas/25042012/pca_cement_usa_energy_environment_awards/