eeawardsThe Cement Industry Energy & Environment Awards program was created in 2000 by the Portland Cement Association (PCA) as part of its renewed environment and energy strategic plan for the U.S. cement industry. The awards honor activities conducted during the previous calendar year, and the program is open to any cement manufacturing plant in North America.

Six cement plants received special recognition this year for their commitment to improving the environment and their communities at the 10th Annual Cement Industry Energy and Environment Awards, presented by the Portland Cement Association (PCA) and Cement Americas magazine at PCA's Spring Meeting in Chicago, April 2011. Twenty-seven cement plants in the United States and Canada were nominated for the awards.

The judges selected first-place winners (as well as runners-up and finalists) in each of the contest's six categories: Environmental Performance; Land Stewardship; Outreach; Innovation; Energy Efficiency; and Overall Environmental Excellence.

The awards honor individual cement facilities that exemplify the spirit of continuous environmental improvement and support this spirit with action. These plants went beyond government regulations and local laws to ensure that their processes and policies contributed to making their communities better places to live and work.

“Although it is one of the most highly regulated industry sectors in the United States, cement companies are consistently challenging manufacturing policies and procedures to improve energy efficiency and other environmental factors. This means not just producing a high-quality product, but making the plant’s local communities quality places to live and work,” said Brian McCarthy, PCA president and CEO. “We take our environmental stewardship seriously and have a long history of investing in continuous improvements that are win-win for both the environment and our communities.”

Serving as judges for the 2012 Energy & Environment Awards were: David Ayers, former Vice President, Health, Safety and Environmental, National Ready Mixed Concrete Association; Jennifer Dellegrazio, Development Associate Foundation Relations, World Wildlife Fund; Rebecca Hindin, Communication & Networking Manager, U.S. EPA, Energy Star Partnership; Garth Hawkins, Cement Industry Consultant for PCA; Susan Robinson, Education Specialist, Corporate Lands for Learning, Wildlife Habitat Council; Hendrik van Oss, Geologist, U.S. Geological Survey; Tyrone Wilson, Director, Regulatory Affairs, PCA;  and Steven Prokopy, Editor, Cement Americas.

OVERALL ENVIRONMENTAL EXCELLENCE
This award recognizes a facility that demonstrates excellence in multiple categories.

Winner
CEMEX
Louisville, Kentucky

The CEMEX Louisville plant took on a range of innovation, energy efficiency, land stewardship, and environmental improvement activities in 2011. Overall savings from the pug screw innovation project, which improved grinding efficiency and reduced maintenance costs, was nearly six times the amount of project investment. Upgrading to a pulse jet duct collector system for a raw mill separator resulted in notable energy efficiency improvements.

The plant also engaged in partnership activities during 2011 with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to ensure habitat mitigation for the Indiana bat (an endangered species), establishing a native tree farm, and surveying rare barren prairie habitats at the plant’s Battletown Quarry.

In addition to these activities, the Louisville facility has successfully developed and continues to implement an effective alternative fuels program and in 2011 utilized approximately 970,000 whole tires as kiln fuel for an annual substitution of 10%. The plant also received approval from the Kentucky Resources Council to conduct trial runs based on biomass and refuse-derived fuel protocols. Finally, the CEMEX Louisville employees were active in 2011 through communications and outreach activities designed to preserve the plant’s history in the community.

ENVIRONMENTAL PERFORMANCE
This category honors facilities that go beyond laws, permits, and regulations to minimize their impact on the environment.

Winner
Holcim (US) Inc.
Theodore, Alabama

In 2011, the Holcim (US) Theodore plant maintained full compliance with applicable state and federal regulations governing particulate matter, benzene, hydrogen chloride, ammonia, dioxins and furans, several organic hazardous air pollutants, mercury, and eleven other metals. The plant also demonstrated marked improvement in opacity control through efficient baghouse use. Through its emission monitoring and reporting program, the Theodore plant voluntarily installed continuous emission monitoring (CEM) units for sulfur dioxides, carbon monoxide, and total hydrocarbons. These CEM units serve an important function for kiln operators and managers by helping to optimize the kiln system and minimize emissions.

In 2011, the plant targeted further emission reductions through a program initiative that included installation of a selective non-catalytic reduction system, which has resulted in continuous improvement in nitrogen oxides control when compared to 2010. During the past year, the plant also utilized 10,000 gallons of site-generated used oil as alternative fuel in the kiln and maintained its practice of recovering a broad range of waste materials for fuel.

Runner Up
Lafarge North America Inc.
Tulsa, Oklahoma

FINALISTS
CEMEX
Miami, Florida

Lafarge North America Inc.
Alpena, Michigan

LAND STEWARDSHIP
This category recognizes efforts to protect and enhance the surrounding land and wildlife.

Winner
St. Marys Cement Inc. (U.S.)/VCNA
Charlevoix, Michigan

In 2011, the St. Marys Cement plant continued in its partnership with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) in the operation and maintenance of the Medusa Creek Fish Weir. The site is located on plant property and consists entirely of quarry discharge water. The plant provided assistance to MDNR by cleaning out the diversion tanks, dredging, and other property maintenance on an as-needed basis. In 2011, nearly 8,000 salmon were harvested, up almost 2,400 from 2010. St. Marys is also becoming known in Northern Michigan for its support of bird habitats.

In 2011 the plant—which serves as a sponsor to local wildlife habitat advocates dedicated to protecting the native loon population—provided materials and labor to construct loon nesting platforms at lakes and ponds identified as potential nesting areas (one of which is on the plant’s own quarry settling pond). The same year, the plant entered into an agreement with local municipalities to turn rail lines—formerly used for hauling cement—into community trails that provide local residents a pathway connecting them to Fisherman’s Island State Park, which adjoins the St. Marys plant.

Runner Up
CEMEX
Louisville, Kentucky

FINALISTS
Lafarge North America Inc.
Bath, Ontario

Lehigh Hanson, Inc.
Mitchell, Indiana

OUTREACH
This category honors activities that enhance community, employee, and government relations.

Winner
Titan America LLC/Roanoke Cement Company
Troutville, Virginia

The Roanoke Cement Company’s outreach activities for 2011 showcased the plant’s commitment to several local initiatives and highlighted its role in promoting environmental awareness. Plant employees participated in creek clean-up activities; partnered with industry groups and wildlife advocates on various habitat enhancement and biodiversity initiatives; and collaborated with Habitat for Humanity on local community projects.

Roanoke Cement also reached out to neighbors through letters, brochures, and meetings to brief them regarding its proposed quarry expansion and on-site mitigation proposal. As a result, scores of residents signed letters in support of the plant’s plan, which would improve the Catawba Creek habitat and environment through the planting of open canopy riparian buffers and additional efforts designed to reverse increasing sediment loads and reduce cattle intrusion into the creek.

Runner Up
Lafarge North America Inc.
Alpena, Michigan

FINALISTS
Lafarge North America Inc.
Tulsa, Oklahoma

CEMEX
Xenia, Ohio

INNOVATION

Winner
CEMEX
Louisville, Kentucky

To reduce maintenance and the resulting significant downtime caused from the erosion of pug mill paddles during raw material processing, the CEMEX Louisville plant replaced the traditional pug mill with a “pug screw,” a common material handling screw. Assessment of the screw performance throughout 2011 showed that the new application allowed for adjustments that automatically increased efficiency by easing the processing of raw materials.

Benefits included reduced maintenance and parts usage and increased energy savings. The pug screw installation increased grinding efficiency; reduced the plant’s raw feed downtime, yielding an estimated savings of nearly $196,000 annually; reduced maintenance and parts consumption by approximately 70%; and an annual savings of about 620,000 kilowatts per hour, an 80% reduction in power usage.

Runner Up
GCC Rio Grande,
Pueblo, Colorado

ENERGY EFFICIENCY

This category focuses on energy planning, applications of efficient technologies and practices, and climate change mitigation efforts.

Winner
CEMEX
Louisville, Kentucky

The CEMEX Louisville plant has demonstrated a commitment to energy efficiency success through implementation of manufacturing improvements throughout 2011. For example, the plant installed modifications to the preheater tower that resulted in improved capture efficiency and reduced the heat required to preheat raw material. In addition, the plant upgraded process efficiency and reduced emissions through improvements to a raw mill separator’s dust collection system. This project reduced energy demand by 724 megawatts per year with the potential to reduce total particulate emissions by up to 75%. In 2011, the energy consumption due to this process modification resulted in a 12% drop in kilowatts per ton of raw feed when compared to 2010.

Runners Up
Lafarge North America Inc.
Alpena, Michigan

CEMEX
Brooksville, Florida

FINALISTS
CalPortland Company
Rillito, Arizona

Holcim (US) Inc.
Bloomsdale, Missouri

2017 Cement Directory

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