Castle Cement has announced it is increasing production capacity and by 2008 will have an additional 10 per cent output compared to 2006. The news comes as the debate over cement shortages rumbles on but Castle Cement Managing Director, Mike Eberlin, has stressed the company, the country’s second largest supplier of cement, is more than rising to the construction industry’s
He said: "We are committed to manufacturing cement in the UK rather than relying on imports to meet market demand and we are fully committed to supplying our customers’ needs in the most sustainable way. With this in mind, we are increasing material production and in 2008 will have increased capacity by ten per cent over 2006.
"I can assure the construction industry that, having studied forecast market growth, we are in a strong position to respond to changing needs in a successful and efficient manner.
"To put this in context, the additional output is more than five times the expected annual cement demand for the Olympics site."
He also stressed that using cement made by Castle Cement is a way companies can significantly reduce carbon emissions. "All our manufacturing takes place in the UK at works in Rutland, Lancashire and Wales using the most efficient dry process kilns, whereas imported cement on average can add around 10 per cent more CO2 per tonne from shipping alone.
"We burn up to 60 per cent recycled and non-fossil fuels and use wastes as a source of raw material, all of which would otherwise go to landfill or incineration. In fact, more than 130kg of landfill is avoided for every tonne of cement produced by Castle," he added.
"We are committed to UK manufacture and to increasing our overall capacity to help overcome the problems of shortfalls in supply, experienced throughout the UK cement industry in 2006 and 2007. This commitment will ensure that Castle has increased cement supplies for the future.
Some of the extra capacity is resulting from getting the new Padeswood Kiln 4 operating at its design limit "this has taken over 12 months to achieve, longer than we anticipated but the last few months operation following the February shutdown confirm that we have succeeded in delivering our expected output".
Small increases in capacity at Ketton are scheduled for early 2008. In 2008 Ketton will become the closest major works to London and with the rail link into Kings Cross ideally situated for the Olympics and SE growth.
Other increases result from use of additions to create CEM II packed and bulk products. These products also have the benefit of a lower carbon footprint.