Lafarge Cement UK has launched the final design and costing feasibility studies for its proposed new cement works at Snodland, in Kent.
As a result, Lafarge will now increase onsite work in preparation for the possible construction of ‘Medway Works’, undertaking a detailed design, costing and contractor strategy.
This stage of the project, which concludes next year, will put Lafarge in a position to make a final decision on allocating the investment required to build the Works.
Lafarge Cement UK’s managing director Dr Erdoğan Pekenç explains:
“With general demand for cement growing in the UK, alongside the introduction of new large-scale projects in the South-East, such as ‘Crossrail’, it is a good time to move the project to the final design stage.”
Planning permission to build the Works was granted in 2001. Since then, work to prepare the site for construction has been progressing. This includes new road and rail infrastructure around the site’s main entrance and the diversion of an oil pipeline.
In 2004, the Group announced that operations starting at the new Medway Works would not coincide with the end of production at Lafarge’s Northfleet Works, in Kent, in April 2008. The Group has since invested in excess of £80 million in its UK supply chain, through establishing two import facilities on the Thames, developing the rail infrastructure at its Hope Works, in Derbyshire, and investing in maximising production capacity at its six other cement works.
“We are the only cement company with nationwide coverage and, as such, we have focused significant investment to develop a robust UK-wide supply chain, to ensure we can provide customers right across the country with our products,” continues Erdoğan.
Work on the next stage of the Medway project commences immediately and is expected to finish in Q3, 2008.