Florida state environmental regulators have announced they intend to issue a permit granting Cemex a 25 per cent increase in capacity for its newest cement kiln.
The notice by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, which was published last week, details how kiln number two at the Cemex South Brooksville Cement Plant, with a 2800tpd capacity, would expand to 3500tpd.
According to the latest permit for the kiln capacity expansion, Cemex closed the two kilns at its Brooksville North facility in 2008 citing economic reasons. The kiln that is the subject of the latest application began operation in November 2008.
The efforts to increase kiln capacity and increase the area for mining "are intended to increase capacity and mining reserves at the site,’’ according to Cemex spokeswoman Sara Engdahl. They "are not related to an increase in sales at the facility. Production at the facility is down from 2010.’’
She said the increased capacity for kiln No. 2 is not intended to increase volume at this time.
"Currently, Cemex owns four cement kilns in the greater Brooksville area. Two kilns are shut down. One is idle and the other is operating only two thirds of the time due to current market conditions,’’ Engdahl said. "Cemex has applied for a permit to increase production capacity on the operating kiln.
"The permit will bring the operating kiln to the capacity that the kiln was originally designed to handle. The process rate increase for the kiln will allow the existing equipment to produce at a higher production rate which will give us a more efficient operation,’’ Engdahl said.
She called the current efforts "a long-term plan.’’
"Because the application process for increasing capacity at a kiln is lengthy and complex, Cemex is taking appropriate measures to ensure our Brooksville facility is prepared for when the market returns to more favourable conditions,’’ she said.