Cemex leaders in Mexico have given a pledge to continue production at their cement-making works in North Lincolnshire until the middle of the 21st century and beyond. And the chiefs at Cemex have backed their words by investing UK£12m in the plant at South Ferriby since taking over two years ago. The planners have been told the company’s permitted reserves of raw material from a nearby quarry will last more than 40 years at the present rates of consumption.
The South Ferriby works, which opened in 1938, currently produces 800,000t of cement a year and employs 200 staff.
The latest instalment of UK£1.4m, if given approval, will see two, 39m high, 1500t storage silos built on the site by next summer. Plant director John Wyatt said the building of the two silos would allow greater flexibility for blending clinker and distributing cement from the site.
They would be located within and above a former palletiser loading facility, meaning no change in the total built ’carbon footprint’ of the works.
"Our objective is to achieve improved efficiency in the distribution of clinker and cement from South Ferriby to meet the demands of the market," Mr Wyatt stressed.
Cemex chiefs insist the new silos will be environmentally friendly, pointing out the increased use of slag in blended cement would reduce emissions of carbon dioxide by up to 50 per cent per tonne.
In their planning application they state: "The company proposes to continue with clinker production at South Ferriby until the middle of the 21st century and beyond.
"These proposals will assist the company to remain an efficient producer of cement and a significant employer in the local community. The cement works is part of the history of South Ferriby."
Cemex do admit a possible drawback for local residents will be the UK£1.4m investment will increase tanker movements in the village from the present average of seven an hour to nine. But the company claims the increase in heavy goods traffic levels will be relatively insignificant in planning terms.