BREAKBULK 2007 - Cemex builds for the future

By: | at 08:00 PM | Channel(s): Maritime  

By Karen E. Thuermer, AJOTIn 2012, the world will focus on London as athletes from around the globe gather to participate in the Summer Olympic Games and 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. But long before the Olympic Torch is lit and the crowds amass, contractors will begin the enormous challenge of constructing the venues in which Olympians will compete.
For CEMEX S.A.B. de C.V., the third largest cement manufacturing company in the world, this means focusing on the Thames Gateway regeneration project. The task is not easy. The project includes constructing 250,000 new homes, an 80,000-seat Olympic stadium, as well as other sports venues in a 500-acre landscaped urban park. The park will be the largest of its kind built in Europe in 150 years.
While development of the project was expected to spread over 10 years, the 2012 Games is speeding up regeneration plans for its Lower Lea Valley segment. Consequently, the project now faces a much tighter timeline for massive transport, infrastructure and environmental improvements.
Making the project even more challenging, it requires that all contractors give careful consideration to the environment while maintaining a platform that improves productivity, delivery and quality of materials. For Cemex, this means developing effective partnerships at all levels during design and construction phases, and improving logistics to provide for high volume just-in-time deliveries.
A seasoned companyThe Mexican company is no newcomer to this type of project. Cemex has been involved in major construction projects in more than 50 countries across the Americas, Europe, Africa, the Middles East, and Asia. Annual sales top over US$15 billion.
A well-implemented logistics program is at the heart of the company’s success. At London Heathrow Airport, for example, Cemex provided Fly Ash, Lytag and logistics solutions during its five-year, £4 million contract with BAA. That project called for supplying 130,000 tons of Fly Ash.
“We had very exacting requirements when searching for a supplier for this project,” says John Harden, head of Construction, BAA. “The materials and expertise needed for constructions such as airport terminal buildings and aircraft standing areas are very specific. The combination of Cemex’s technical expertise along with its proven track record in projects of this size made it the ideal choice.”
Working on this project, Cemex employed an intermodal bulk transport system to supply pulverized Fly Ash to the Heathrow Terminal 5 development. In keeping with environmental considerations, the project required that all bulk materials be transported to site by rail.
As a result, Cemex, in conjunction with inBulk Technologies, became the first company to develop and use an innovative, intermodal, and environmentally friendly bulk transport system. A key point is that the system can be used on rail or sea as well as over the road. Containers can be transferred between road-going flatbed trucks, rail-based rolling stock, and a variety of ships, enabling the optimum solution to be arranged for each journey.
“The intermodal ISO Tank solution that Cemex has developed was ideal to enable us to transport the tanks by rail to our logistics center and then transfer them by road to the construction site two miles away,” says Peter McColm of Laing O’Rourke Bulk Materials, the manager for Terminal 5.
Consisting of a cylinder-shaped container with a 34 cubic meter capacity, the ISO-Veyor unit was constructed within the frame dimensions of a standard 30-foot commercial container, but can carry greater weights. The payload restriction is due to the road transport limits of 44 tons gross vehicle mass. In tests, 30 tons of ash and 38 tons of cement have been loaded.
The containers are filled at the source and remain sealed until they reach the point of delivery. The contents are removed for immediate handling. A benefit is that the units can be left on site as a method of weatherproof storage until their contents are required.

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American Journal of Transportation