Construction has started at Lafarge Cement’s Cauldon Plant, located in Staffordshire, on a £13 million investment project to reduce its carbon footprint.

The project, which is expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 30,000 tonnes annually, consists of two parts. First, the building across the road from the main plant of a new pre-processing facility, with a haulage and feeding platform, for the storage, handling and feeding of solid alternative fuels, that would otherwise end up as landfill. 

This will be connected to the plant via an innovative conveyor that fully contains the waste fuel during transfer. This facility can provide 100,000 tonnes of waste fuel per year to the main plant - utilising materials that would otherwise go to landfill.

The second part of the project is the construction of a chlorine bypass into the existing kiln equipment in the main cement plant. The new bypass removes any additional chlorine generated by the use of the new fuel sources, ensuring a consistent high quality product is still produced. The excess chlorine is then used at the end of the process, resulting in no additional waste materials.

After extensive consultation with the local community and other stakeholders, the project started construction in March 2021 and is due to complete in early 2022.

The operation, which was the first dry-process cement plant in the UK, is part of Aggregate Industries, which is itself owned by LafargeHolcim.

Steve Curley, Managing Director Cement, said: “We have a successful history at Cauldon of moving away from the traditional use of fossil fuels and instead utilising renewable fuel sources.

“This investment marks the next step forward for our sustainable future, allowing us to provide a circular economy by recycling waste supplied to us by reputable organisations that are approved against our strict specification standards, and then using it as fuel within our production process.”

Dragan Maksimovic, the newly appointed CEO at Aggregate Industries UK, added: “It is great to see us continuing to recognise the importance of sustainability and invest in Cauldon Cement Plant to ensure that we further reduce carbon emissions and remain sustainable for the long term, both as a local employer and contributor to the local economy, as well as a UK-wide supplier of high quality products and services.”