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Cement industry focuses on low

waste, low carbon model


MPA CEMENT has published its

Sustainable Development

Report 2016

, highlighting the

industry’s contribution to the

economy as it strives to move

from a linear to circular model that

encompasses low waste, low carbon,

increased recycling and use of waste

from other sectors.

The MPA says UK cement

manufacturers are delivering on this

vision and providing an important

strategic contribution to the UK’s

development needs. Following a

stable market in the early and mid-

2000s, the economic recession saw

domestic cement production drop by

40% between 2007 and 2009. Since

2012, markets have improved but

production is still 27% lower than in

2007. Delivering further environmental

improvements is getting harder, with

rising production costs, uncertainty

in the market outlook and a lack of

clarity on carbon and energy policy,

particularly on emissions trading.

Pal Chana, MPA’s executive director,

said, “This new report illustrates

the full material flow of UK cement

manufacture and the fantastic

contribution that the industry is

making to the circular economy

with zero waste to landfill, while

consuming 1.6m tonnes of waste

and by-products from other sectors.

However, the report highlights that

one of the greatest threats to the UK

cement industry in the near future

is the considerable cumulative cost

burden from the implementation of

climate change and energy-related

policies, which we estimate are going

to increase by 40% to 2020, even

with the limited discounting provided

by Government. If action is not taken

to protect the UK cement sector

from these rising costs, imports will

increase, jobs will be lost and security

of supply will be threatened.”

While the report highlights that

cement manufacturing maintains

its high level of environmental

performance, MPA is concerned

that policy drivers, such as those

incentivising the use of biomass, are

increasing competition for limited

biomass resource, resulting in a

market distortion with potential

to drive cement manufacture back

towards coal use.

London’s largest crane begins work

Atkins agrees takeover

deal with SNC-Lavalin


PROGRESS has been made at the

Hinkley Point C site in Somerset.

Six months into the project, EDF

energy has confirmed that concrete

has been poured for the power station

galleries – a network of connected

tunnels that will carry cabling and

pipes and will be some of the first

permanent structures on the site.

The concrete pour is a significant

milestone for the project and followed

the first consent for construction

granted by the independent regulator,

the Office for Nuclear Regulation.

Construction of the building for the

first reactor at HPC is scheduled to

start in 2019, when concrete will be

poured to make the reactor platform.

Construction currently involves 1600

workers on-site every day; 3m tonnes

of concrete and 230,000 tonnes

of steel reinforcement will be used

during the construction. Hinkley

Point C will relaunch the nuclear

construction industry in the UK,

providing 25,000 job opportunities

and 1000 apprenticeships.

The power station is a vital part

of the UK’s low carbon energy

future and will provide 7% of future

electricity needs.

Progress at Hinkley

Point C site

CANADIAN engineering firm SNC-

Lavalin andWS Atkins have reached

agreement on a takeover deal of the

UK firm. The deal is estimated at

approximately £2.1bn.

Neil Bruce, the British president

and CEO of SNC-Lavalin, said, “We

are very pleased to announce this

proposed acquisition, creating a global

fully integrated professional services

and project management company

– including capital investment,

consulting, design, engineering,

construction, sustaining capital and

operations and maintenance.”

Germany • Tunnelling

Ramboll–Arup–TEC JV will provide

technical consultancy services

to developer Femern for the new

Fehmarnbelt Tunnel project linking

Germany and Denmark, while ÅF –

Hansen & Henneberg will provide in-

house technical consultancy services.

The planned 18km immersed tunnel

will connect Rødbyhavn in Denmark

with Puttgarden in Germany to become

the world’s longest immersed tunnel

and the world’s longest underwater

road and rail tunnel.

France • Testing

The SOCOTEC Group has acquired

ESG, a provider of testing, inspection

and compliance services. ESG, which

employs 1400 people and operates

across 28 UK sites, was previously

owned by 3i. SOCOTEC is a French

construction inspection service provider

and ranks among the country’s leading

equipment verification companies.

UK • Appointment

Piling and ground engineering

contractor Aarsleff has appointed Jody

Parkin as its new piling manager. Parkin

has 16 years’ experience in all piling and

geotechnical techniques and joins the

company from Cementation Skanska,

where he was operations manager

on several major Crossrail contracts

and more recently was responsible for

the foundation solution to the target

building of the European Spallation

Source in Lund, Sweden.

Canada • Cement

ASTM International has announced

a new group focused on creating

Standards for non-hydraulic cement.

The group is a subcommittee of the

organisation’s committee on cement

(C01). Non-hydraulic cements can

serve as an alternative to Portland

cement in some applications;

companies within the construction

sector have a growing interest in such




An article in


April ‘The

secret to successful high-rise concrete

construction is in the mix’ made

reference to the FreedomTower in New

York and stated that “Sika supplied the

admixtures for all the applications on

this 540m-high project”. Sika’s work

actually covered just the underground

portion of the project, which had the

highest strength concrete.



happy to set the record straight.

CEMEX has supplied more than 20,000m


of bespoke concrete for the City of

Archives in Oaxaca, Mexico. The six-building project was created to rescue, restore,

digitalise and distribute historical documents from the state of Oaxaca. The

complex comprises 16,000m of special shelves to safeguard historical documents.

Architect Ignacio Mendaro Corsini was adamant that the structural elements

should honour the Mixtec Oaxacan culture, which required changing the traditional

grey colour of concrete to typical adobe colours. Over 20 tests were carried out,

varying the quantities of the colour, gravel and sand, until a tone that met the

project’s exacting requirements was produced.

LONDON’S largest crane has begun

work on-site at the Earls Court

development which will create 8000

homes and 10,000 new jobs, as well

as a new high street and a 2-hectare

park. Demolition of the former

exhibition centres to ground level is

complete after two years of intensive

work. The crane will take part in the

site preparation throughout 2017.

It will carefully lift 61 ‘portal

beams’ out from over the London

Underground lines that lie below the

former exhibition centres. The large

concrete beams supported the weight

of the exhibition centres and need to

be removed to enable development


The largest beamweighs 1500

tonnes, the same as 118 London buses.

The crane was specifically chosen

to minimise the impact on local

residents, to help reduce the carbon

footprint of the project and shorten

the project’s timescales.

The lifting of the portal beams

will occur overnight in ‘engineering

hours’ after the last District Line

train has passed through the tunnels

underneath the beams.

The crane is more than twice the

height of Nelson’s Column and is

the largest capacity lifting crane

ever to be used in London. It will be

dismantled and leave Earls Court at

the end of 2017.