National Cement Company, an American subsidiary of the Vicat group, inaugurated on July 21 a kiln operating without fossil fuels for the cement plant in Ragland, Alabama. The installation directly reduces carbon emissions.
The new kiln inaugurated by the American subsidiary of the Vicat group, an independent French cement manufacturer, required more than two years of work and represents an investment of 300 million dollars. The new equipment will double the site’s production capacity, in a market that is already very under-capacity. The investment includes an alternative fuel storage facility, a integrated and fully automated laboratory and control center. Alternative fuels consist of recycled wood chips, sawdust from local furniture and cabinet makers, tire-derived fuels.
The equipment will also reduce energy consumption by a third and by extension its carbon footprint by at least 40%. It is directly in line with the Vicat Group’s climate strategy, which aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 across its entire value chain.
Guy Sidos, Chairman and CEO of the Vicat group, comments: “Our ambition is to use alternative fuels in all our cement plants around the world. In addition to eliminating fossil-based energy and replacing it with recycled regional waste, our investments contribute directly to local development. We are proud of the modernization and transformation of our Ragland site, our very first acquisition outside France in 1974.”
The sustained economic development of the South East of the United States in recent years, and in particular the growth of transport activities, port infrastructures and e-commerce, has given rise to new construction projects in several States. The various cements thus produced by the Ragland site will directly meet market needs.
“With this new kiln, by 2023, all Type I General Purpose Portland Cement produced at Ragland is expected to be replaced with Type IL Limestone Portland Cement, an innovative blended cement that contains up to 15% of limestone. We must provide a concrete response to the climate challenge and offer building materials with a lower carbon footprint in the Southeastern United States.” says R. Spencer Weitman, president of National Cement Company.
National Cement Company of Alabama has been a subsidiary of Vicat since 1974. Its operational facilities include the Ragland cement production plant, a high-speed bagging line for portland cement and Coosa brand masonry cement products, a network of cement distribution terminals served by rail in Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee, and ready-mix concrete manufacturing plants in northeast, central and southern Alabama, as well as the Atlanta metropolitan area. The strategic location of its network of production and distribution facilities enables it to meet the diverse needs of its customers throughout the southeastern United States.