Cemex has been awarded a grant to research and develop carbon capture technology at its Balcones cement plant in Texas, USA. Cemex is partnering with Membrane Technology & Research Inc in an 18-month study that will trial a new membrane technology to capture CO2.
"At Cemex, sustainability is embedded in our operations, and we are constantly looking for opportunities to reduce our carbon footprint, said Jaime Muguiro, Cemex USA president. "We strive to develop and gradually adapt new technology which will help us achieve our ambition to deliver zero CO2 concrete to all of our customers. Wit this grant, we will be able to leverage our expertise to redefine the feasibility of implementing the membrane carbon capture technology in a cost-effective manner."
CEMEX marked the 50th anniversary of its industry-leading Balcones Quarry in New Braunfels, Texas, last Thursday, holding an event to celebrate the facilitys milestone while looking toward the operations future.
The Balcones Quarry has provided critical building materials for projects across Texas for decades, and it has set high standards for innovation and sustainability, Galassini said. The community has grown up around this quarry, and the quarry has evolved with it. Were proud to be a member of the New Braunfels community, offering quality jobs and operating in a way that positively affects the area.
Balcones Quarry began operations in 1968. CEMEX purchased the quarry along with the neighboring cement plant in 1994. The quarry currently processes more than 10 million tons of crushed limestone annually and supports infrastructure, residential and commercial projects across Texas. The United States Geological Survey recently ranked CEMEXs Balcones Quarry as the top crushed stone producer in the nation in terms of volume.
CEMEX focuses on sustainability and environmentally-friendly operations at the facility. In 2016, Balcones Quarry opened a state-of-the-art water recycling plant at the quarry to dramatically cut reliance on local water sources. Recently, CEMEX opened its Wildlife Habitat Center adjacent to the quarry to promote conservation and sustainability. The center includes about 17 acres of restored prairie, pollinator gardens and meadows planted with native plants. An education center and wheelchair-accessible produce garden are also on the site.
Balcones Quarry is a shining example of what an operation can be when it is fully integrated into a community, said CEMEX USA President Ignacio Madridejos. It not only supports the region with high-quality aggregates, but exemplifies what CEMEX strives to do in every community in which we live and operate by being a good neighbor.
CEMEX is a global building materials company that provides high quality products and reliable service to customers and communities in more than 50 countries throughout the world. Its U.S. network includes 11 cement plants, more than 50 strategically- located distribution terminals, 50 aggregate quarries and nearly 270 ready-mix concrete plants.
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US: The Department of Energy has granted Cemex funding to research and develop innovative carbon capture technology at its Balcones, Texas cement plant. The company says that this will partly fund an 18-month feasibility study of partner company Membrane Technology & Researchs membrane carbon capture product at the plant. It says that, if successful, the study will be an important advancement towards Cemexs ambition to deliver net-zero carbon dioxide (CO2) concrete globally by 2050.
USA president Jaime Muguiro said, At Cemex, sustainability is embedded in our operations and we are consistently looking for opportunities to reduce our carbon footprint. We strive to develop and gradually adapt new technology which will help us achieve our ambition to deliver net-zero CO2 concrete to all of our customers. With this grant, we will be able to leverage our expertise to define the feasibility of implementing the membrane carbon capture technology in a cost-effective manner.
Membrane Technology & Research has supplied membrane-based separation systems to the petrochemical, natural gas, and refining industries since 1992. Vice President of Technology Tim Merkel said, Cement plant emissions are a good target for the CO2 capture membrane technology that weve been developing with Department of Energy support. He added, We look forward to working with Cemex on this exciting project to confirm that our technology can capture cement plant emissions at a minimal cost.
A seller on North American and overseas cement, aggregate and concrete business deals since its 2007 Rinker Group takeover, Cemex S.A.B. de C.V. has turned the page, closing on the assets of Texas Beck Readymix Concrete Co. Ltd. Announced in mid-February, the deal includes one portable and three fixed plants to service the San Antonio metropolitan area and surrounding markets.
Texas is experiencing explosive growth, and Cemex has repeatedly shown it is ready to make moves to help fuel it, says Cemex USA Texas Regional President Scott Ducoff. By acquiring these facilities, [we] will be able to deliver our high-quality products that many Texans are already familiar with to satisfy the high demand of customers of one of the states most dynamic markets.
[We are] proactively looking for opportunities to grow our operations in the U.S. and adapting to meet the needs of our customers, adds Cemex USA President Jaime Muguiro. We are excited that this acquisition will expand our product offering to customers in a market thats been our neighbor for more than 25 years.
The Beck Readymix operations are located about 25 miles from the Balcones Cement Plant and Balcones Quarry in New Braunfels, which Cemex has operated since 1994. The countrys largest aggregates source by volume per the U.S. Geological Survey, the Balcones Quarry recently marked its 50th anniversary.
WEST COAST TERMINAL REPLENISHMENTCemex S.A.B. de C.V. will invest around $15 million to fire up an idled kiln at its CPN cement plant in northwest Mexico, yielding more powder for terminals north of the border by mid-2021. The producer presently supplies more than 3 million tons of cement annually across Arizona, California and Nevada from its Victorville plant, north of Los Angeles, and sea-borne imports. The CPN kiln restart will contribute to increased Victorville efficiencies, while other supply chain modifications are planned to help deliver hundreds of thousands of additional tons of cement to key U.S. markets.
Many cement customers in California, Arizona and Nevada have been impacted by supply constraints this past year, says Cemex USA Executive Vice President Cement Commercial Joel Galassini. The decision to recommission this kiln was made with our customers top of mind, to give them reliable access through a local supply chain. Our unique network of production facilities in this region allows us to make investments that will have a meaningful impact on meeting customers needs.
With the kiln going back into operation, we are leveraging our strong network and local assets, adds Regional President Arizona Region David Nabavi. We strive to provide customers a superior experience and deliver the materials they need when they need them.
The downward view from atop the operations wash plant provides excellent perspective on the sheer volume of material moving out of this quarry, as trucks continuously pour into the plant from one direction while countless others navigate out through a wheel wash system.
In addition to truck loadout, Cemex sends aggregate out on unit trains from this New Braunfels, Texas, site thats made up of 100 employees. Railed aggregate is shipped to distribution terminals in Houston, where Cemexs ready-mix division serves as one of the quarrys largest consumers of rail shipments.
Among the latest additions to the Balcones Quarry is a water recycling system separating aggregate sand fines that are reclaimed as a usable product. The state-of-the-art system, completed in 2016, uses 90 percent less water each year than the amount previously required by a wash plant.
A wash plant consisting of Sandvik 660 cones, Syntron feeders, Deister screens, GIW and Schurco pumps, and Van der Graaf drum motors, among other components, is relatively new to the Balcones Quarry, as well. The plant produces about 20,000 finished tpd, Griffin says.
In terms of safety, Cemex recently instituted a glove policy at the operation. The company also takes advantage of a Cat fatigue risk management system on haul trucks. The system monitors a drivers eyes and lips to detect fatigue, Griffin says.
3. The water recycling system decreases Cemexs environmental impact and reliance on water pulled from nearby sources by using 90 percent less water annually than previously used by the quarrys wash plant.
5. At the Balcones Quarry, Cemex utilizes a Cat 993K wheel loader in its equipment fleet, which includes five production loaders, 12 haul trucks, six shipping loaders, two dozers, two excavators and more. The 993K carries 100 tons per load, Cemex says.
CEMEX Day 2021 will be a live video webcast presentation on Thursday, June 24, 2021, starting at 10:00 AM ET in which members of our senior management will provide an update on our business, financial, and climate action strategy.
Because of this activity, CEMEX formed Transenergy to manage the trading relationships between CEMEX, its suppliers, and external customers, whilst developing and securing a robust global trading network.
Coal is one of the worlds most important sources of energy, fuelling almost 40% of electricity worldwide. Coal has been the worlds fastest growing energy source in recent years faster than gas, oil, nuclear, hydro and renewables.
Based on our experience, CEMEX can offer technical assistance in the use of petcoke we can analyze the options for a successful transition from traditional fuel to petcoke firing. We have gathered a vast amount of know-how and experience in overcoming the operational problems related to petcoke firing. By altering the kiln parameters or changing the raw mix composition, we can optimize your kiln system for petcoke firing and offer a systematic program.
Supply Assurance/Continuity Given the strong petcoke portfolio that we have and our long-standing relationships with many major refineries around the world, CEMEX is in a position to be able to offer a highly competitive long term petcoke supply agreement.
Originally Transenergy only traded within CEMEX operations, however due to increased demand, we have expanded Transenergy to new customers such as other cement producers, power stations etc. in fact to anyone with a broad requirement for petcoke & coal.
Our trading network is vast and covers almost every continent, the majority of our petcoke and coal is sourced from the USA and South America, but we also have operations in Europe and Asia. As a result of this coverage, we sell to and trade with clients on every major continent.
We have experience acquiring, processing, storing and recovering energy from alternative sources in a responsible way. We are sure that increasing the co-processing of waste that comes from other industry in our cement plants, will contribute more to face challenges like Climate Change, waste management and will reduce the use of fossil fuels, based on the principles of circular economy.
Our strong commitment to migrate to cleaner energy sources and our ongoing efforts to replace traditional fossil fuels, such as pet coke, with low carbon alternatives, or even zero emissions technologies, generated very good results this year. After several years with many challenges, this year we increased our use of alternative fuels again, going from 23.3% in 2016 to 26.2% in 2017, while generating savings of US $ 123 million per year.
At the end of last year, 92% of our plants used about 3 million tons of alternative fuels, with which we avoided the use of 1.8 million tons of coal. Of these, our cement plants with the highest rates of alternative fuel use last year were Chelm in Poland, Prachovice in Czech Republic, Broceni in Latvia, Clinchfield in the US and Rdersdorf in Germany. Together, these five plants used more than 9000,000 tons of waste as fuel
However, every region in which we operate is different, therefore we face several challenges that prevent us from using more alternative fuels, such as: availability and quality of waste, infrastructure and logistics, regulation of co-processing and permits, the markets dynamics, economic factors and technical limitations.
To contribute to a greater substitution of fossil fuels, this year we created the Global Alternative Fuel Group of CEMEX, composed of a multidisciplinary group of experts on key issues such as Energy, Sustainability, Operations and Technology, Supply, Corporate Affairs, Communications, Social Responsibility and Risk Management. This group allows us to deeply evaluate and analyze specific challenges and opportunities to continue growing alternative fuels consumption in each of our cement plants. This guarantees a deep evaluation and allows CEMEX to address issues from a holistic point of view.
The project consisted of more than 60,000 liner feet of drilled shaft up to 60 in diameter and 95 feet in depth. More than 30,000 cubic yardsof drilled shaft concrete was placed in the 1000 plus shafts on the project. The fast track design as you go nature of the project requireddetailed coordination between engineers, the owner, contractors onsite, and suppliers to ensure that the overall project remained onschedule and stayed within budget. The drilled shaft portion of the project was completed on schedule in under 9 months. The BalconesFault geologic formation underneath the site provided for a wide array of subsurface conditions. Casings up to 40 in length, bentoniteslurry, and underwater concrete placement methods and equipment were all utilized to install the shafts in a timely fashion. Low overheaddrilling and concrete pumping equipment was also used to install shafts inside existing materials storage buildings to help reduce the costof the plant expansion.
CEMEX' Balcones plant near New Braunfels is nearing completion of an expansion project begun in January 2007 that will double the facility's existing production while reducing emissions. The expansion is being built by both CEMEX and Zachry Construction Corporation of San Antonio.
Zachry has been constructing a new cement line with a planned production capacity of 3,850 short tons per day, and all construction has had to be accomplished without interfering with the operation of the existing production line.
The project included construction of a limestone storage and reclaim facility, a raw mill feed structure, a water cooling tower and air compressor building, a raw mill system, a clinker cooler, a coke/coal mill system, and a cement mill system, all of which were constructed by Zachry, as well as silt fencing installed to protect the environment.
Zachry also remodeled the existing control room and completed two outages in September 2007 and January 2008 to tie new baghouses into the existing line. The control room was updated with systems that will enable CEMEX to operate both production lines from one location. The Zachry team installed a new control panel, flooring, ceiling, and walls, and rewired the control room.
According to Zachry project manager Andy Power and operations manager Dan Pratt, "another challenge has been the small area in which we have to construct the new line. Cement lines are compact in general, and constructing an addition within an existing operation means even tighter quarters. We are fortunate to have a 30-acre laydown area northeast of the plant. When it became full, the overflow materials were placed at the back of the nearby quarry."
A blending silo and loadout was slip formed by CEMEX subcontractor Borton, with mechanical, structural, electrical and instrumentation work in the silo being completed by Zachry. Borton also slip formed a preheater tower, which was built with a reinforced concrete frame with a steel interior. The CCC group completed the foundation work for the tower, and Zachry completed the structural steel work inside the concrete tower frame. As the tower was being slip formed, steel embeds were poured into the structure. As the structural steel work inside the concrete tower frame rose, the preheater equipment was installed at the appropriate height. A 64-ton Favco tower crane supported the tower throughout the process.
Preheater equipment included cyclones and a calciner, which were fabricated offsite by KHD and shipped to the site by truck in pieces as large as the trucks could handle. The pieces were then offloaded in the laydown yard and assembled on site with the aid of two 3900 Manitowoc crawler cranes. KHD also fabricated and supplied the ductwork, and the structural steel was fabricated by Qualico.
The four main bag houses were supplied and erected by Solios Environmental with the aid of two 2500 Kobelco crawler cranes, and the kiln was installed by Philips. Additionally, Zachry expanded the existing limestone storage building by adding a 300-foot-long extension and installing a new reclaimer and conveying system.
A new double track 200-plus car capacity railroad, which required approximately 17,000 linear feet of rail, was laid by CEMEX subcontractor Track Works and completed in April. Dirt and ballast work for the new railroad was completed by Zachry, which required excavation of approximately 480,000 cubic yards of dirt and the addition of approximately 45,000 tons of ballast.
The surface area of the new production line is fairly small, but the structures are quite tall. This project required nine cranes, and precise civil, structural, electrical and mechanical work was especially critical. Additional equipment required included four 75-ton Grove pickers where needed, two 15-ton Galion pickers as needed, and various excavators and haul trucks.
The concrete used on the project was supplied by Ingram Readymix made with CEMEX cement produced on the existing production line at Balcones. Rebar was supplied by Capitol City Steel with structural steel being supplied by Qualico. Gravel and ballast for the railroad were supplied by CEMEX. Zachry Construction supplied pipe from Turner Industries, as well as civil components and bulks for all the crafts. CEMEX supplied all required equipment, which was manufactured by Loeshe, IKN, KHD, and Solios.
Safety was and is the first priority of CEMEX and Zachry Construction. Standard safety procedures are in place at this job site, and with the help of the CEMEX expansion management team, the safety program has a recordable incident rate on site of 0.66 based on 1.8 million work hours completed through April 27.
Because a lot of the work on this project is elevated, management has instituted a 100-percent fall protection (tie off) policy to help keep employees safe. Safety management is headed by a dedicated CEMEX and Zachry safety team whose sole job is to ensure that all safety procedures are being followed and all employees are properly trained and equipped to safely perform their duties. The site has daily safety meetings where the crew completes Safety Task Assignments (STAs), which help employees to recognize all possible hazards associated with a task and then either eliminate those hazards or implement controls for their protection. A site safety meeting is held once a month wherein a "Crew of the Month" is chosen and rewarded based largely on safety performance.
Once the production line is operating, emissions will not increase even though the capacity is being doubled, according to CEMEX management. "This is being accomplished because of CEMEX's willingness to invest in the newest and best technology available. As a result, the Balcones site will be one of the most efficient and productive cement plants in the country, and will be operated in the most responsible and environmentally conscientious manner possible. Specific energy usage will go down, dust emissions will be reduced, and all emission controls will be greatly enhanced."
To increase efficiency, CEMEX replaced the dust collection equipment in the existing kiln line and installed state-of-the-art technology to continue to protect the environment. The old kiln and cooler had an electrostatic precipitator and a gravel bed filter, but were upgraded with new fabric filter dust collectors made by Solios Environmental of Canada.
Additionally, new and improved NOx control technology capable of burning 100-percent pet coke and a modern automation system produced by FLS Automation of Bethlehem, Pa., were installed in the existing kiln. The same technology, which was applied to upgrade the existing production line, is also being installed in the new production line.
A tubular calciner was chosen as the most efficient method to address carbon monoxide reduction. The tubular calciner allows a lengthy retention time and provides thorough mixing capability. Additionally, the inherent cleansing effect of the pre-heater and the inline raw mill are key elements in the reduction of sulfur dioxide emissions.
The expansion had to be completed in a very small area on a very aggressive schedule, all of which required careful organization, planning, scheduling and collaboration by everyone working on the project. Zachry Project Execution Planning Process (also known as "ZPEPP"), Zachry's signature project execution and planning process, provided a framework to help keep all project partners coordinated.
Zachry's Andy Power says, "CEMEX is a preeminent force in the production of cement, concrete and aggregates, and the Zachry team is privileged to serve the company. This environmentally friendly expansion will enable CEMEX to help meet the growing demand for high-quality cement, while meeting CEMEX's priority of conducting its business with respect and care for the environment. We have learned many lessons from this project and hope to have the opportunity to put them into practice on future jobs with CEMEX."