Cemex today announced a proposal to stop cement manufacturing at Barrington cement plant in South Cambridgeshire, and is meeting with trade union and employee representatives to discuss the proposals in detail. In total there are 87 employees on the site who are at risk of being made redundant.
The proposal to turn off the cement kiln at the plant has been made in a bid to rationalise the company’s cement manufacturing in the UK by transferring a significant proportion of Barrington’s production capacity to Cemex’s other UK plants at Rugby (Warwickshire) and South Ferriby (North Lincolnshire). The move to potentially close Barrington’s kiln is part of a strategy to rationalise processes and implement costs savings wherever possible, following the recent downturn in the economy and the slow down in construction.
Commenting on the decision, President of Cemex UK, Gonzalo Galindo, said: “Barrington cement plant has been producing cement for nearly 80 years, and it is with considerable regret that we are now making this proposal, which could lead to job losses and the closure of a chapter in Barrington’s history. The current economic climate has driven us to implement efficiencies in all areas of our business, and the closure of Barrington’s kiln could help to secure the future of our cement manufacturing business in the UK. We will uphold our obligations to this site, including any future restoration commitments.”
As part of the proposal to turn off the cement kiln for good, one cement mill would remain operational during the first quarter of 2009. It is subsequently the company’s intention to explore the possibility of a limited sustainable alternative use for the plant site as a depot, which would be used to service customers in East Anglia. This could involve approximately 10 employees remaining on site, and a small number of daily vehicle movements to and from the plant. However, there would be no immediate demolition of buildings, as long-term plans for the site are still to be explored.
As part of Cemex’s sustainability strategy, Barrington’s Secondary Liquid Fuel (an alternative waste derived fuel made from industrial liquid wastes that can’t be recycled) and Climafuel (Solid Recovered Fuel - waste derived fuel made from municipal and/or commercial waste streams) are likely to be diverted to Cemex’s other UK cement plants where permissions for their use are in place, in order to optimise the use of alternative fuels at these locations