Builders' Merchants News

Tilbury – open for business.

CEMEX opens plant in South East

Published:  23 September, 2009

TILBURY: Global building materials company CEMEX this week opened a new cement grinding and blending plant at the Port of Tilbury in Essex. For CEMEX, which is the biggest Mexican investor in the UK, this shows a strong commitment to the UK and sustainable construction. The £49m investment, which has been under construction for the past two years, is the largest in the UK cement industry for five years, and the 1.2 million tonne plant will increase CEMEX UK’s cement capacity by 20%.

The plant, which is the only cement plant in the South East of England, was officially opened by Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Shahid Malik, who is Minister for the Thames Gateway in the company of CEMEX’s President of the Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Region Juan Romero and 150 guests. Guests at the Tilbury opening ceremony included senior members of the construction industry and representatives from central and local Government and the European Parliament.

"I'm delighted that CEMEX chose to site their new plant in the Thames Gateway," Mr Malik said. "The Gateway is renowned for attracting innovative businesses, has strong trade and business links and a geographical position that gives the region ready access to a number of key markets for many companies. CEMEX's decision to base it's low-carbon sustainable plant in Tilbury will provide jobs and allow the company to reduce it's carbon footprint even further by making use of the Gateway's water and rail transport links.”

The basis for the products made at Tilbury is cement clinker, which is ground to a powder and blended with by-products from other industries to make cements for use in buildings and infrastructure projects. By reducing the amount of clinker in the blended cement, it enables every tonne of clinker to go further and lessens the overall impact of its manufacture and makes it more sustainable.

The plant boasts the first vertical cement mill in the country, which uses 20-40% less energy than traditional horizontal mills. The mill combined with the blended cement capabilities, shipping, barge and rail loading facilities mean that the plant’s carbon footprint per tonne of finished product is further reduced.

CEMEX UK’s President, Gonzalo Galindo, said: “I am immensely proud of this plant, which truly demonstrates our commitment to the construction industry and confidence that the UK economy will bounce back. The energy efficiency of the UK's first vertical cement mill combined with the use of by products from other industries in our cements will significantly increase the sustainability of our end products. Add to that CEMEX's extensive network of London wharfs and depots, connected by a system of river and rail transport to further minimise emissions and relieve the pressure on congested roads, and you have a strong environmental story.”

The Tilbury facility marks a step-change in the industry by producing blended cements in purpose-built, factory-controlled conditions. This will ensure quality control and product consistency, as well as safety for a permanent and well trained 25-strong workforce. Additional benefits are likely to include increased productivity and reduction in energy use and materials wastage.