ICR attended the official opening of Cemex’s new 1.2Mta grinding plant at the Port of Tilbury in the UK. It represents the largest single Mexican investment in the British economy, clocking in at UK£49m. Attendees were treated to a luxurious cruise down the River Thames, before being greeted by the plant’s management team at the site.
During the cruise, Gonzalo Galindo, the president of Cemex UK and his colleagues gave several presentations, highlighting the sustainability benefits of the new plant and showcasing its modern facilities. The plant’s use of blended cement, in the production of both CEM II and CEM III was particularly emphasised as a means of reducing carbon emissions from the manufacturing process. The opening ceremony was performed by both Shahid Malik, MP for the Thames Gateway and Parliamentary undersecretary of state, communities, and local government, together with Mauren Pearce, the Mayor of Thurrock and her consort Leslie Wingett. Mr Malik commented that the area had seen 55,000 homes built since 2001 and that the demand for housing was “almost infinite”.
He also said that the government has a clear vision for the area and that customers will reap the benefits of Cemex’s investment. Mayor Pearce thanked Cemex for supporting the Thurrock community and for its choice of site. After a tour of the site, including the Loesche vertical mill and laboratories, visitors were refreshed with a hearty lunch and given a guided tour on the return journey of Cemex’s many investments along the banks of the Thames.
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.