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Media Centre

05 February 2007

CEMEX UK Granted permit to use tyres at Rugby Works

Building materials solutions company, CEMEX UK, has been granted a permit by the cement industry regulator, the Environment Agency, to use tyres as part-replacement for coal to fuel the cement kiln at Rugby Works in Warwickshire.

The company welcomes the permit, which has been granted following extensive consultation with a wide range of organisations, community groups and the people of Rugby on the back of detailed results from a 1,000 hour programme using chipped tyres at the plant. Data showed a marked reduction in certain emissions from the chimney while tyres were in use.

A report with the results from the 1,000 hour tyre programme that was completed in December 2005 describes Rugby plant's successful performance against each of seven critical success factors identified in the Work's permit (IPPC Permit BL7248).

CEMEX UK invited all interested parties to comment on a draft version of the report, before presenting a final copy to the Environment Agency, requesting permission to use tyres permanently.

Increasing the use of alternative fuels is key to improving CEMEX's sustainability performance. In addition to the direct environmental benefits of reduced emissions, using alternative fuels, like tyres, have indirect benefits, such as recovering energy from what would otherwise be considered a waste material. Each year 40 million tyres are scrapped in the UK. Using alternative fuels at Rugby Works could help to minimise illegal dumping and preserve fossil fuels for future generations.

Data show that the Rugby plant operates well within current emission limits, but to improve this even further, the plant is installing a new dust filter during its annual maintenance shut down in February. The filter, which is expected to lead to a further 40 per cent reduction of particulate emissions, is being installed on the kiln exhaust, and will use 6,000 fabric bags to place a physical barrier between process gases and the atmosphere.

The new filter combined with the use of tyres will in the future contribute to enhance Rugby's environmental performance and help ensure that quality cement from the plant is provided as sustainably as possible.


Notes to editors:

1. Tyre substitution:
During the trial tyres constituted an energy replacement of 12%.

2. Critical success factors:
The tyre trial report demonstrates that all of the critical success factors as listed in Section 10 of the Permit have been met with regard to:

  • Compliance with emission limit values
  • Process efficiency
  • Improved overall environmental impact
  • Acceptable assessment by Environment Agency Officers
  • Stable operations
  • Stability between fuel changes
  • Quality assured data

3. Rugby Works:
CEMEX's Rugby Works is one of the most modern plants in the world and represents a total investment of £200 million. It has the largest kiln in the UK and has a production capacity of 1.8 million tonnes of cement per annum. CEMEX supports 730 local jobs in Rugby (183 at the works), contributes £25.5 million per annum to the local economy and provides a product that is essential locally and nationally, for housing, hospitals, schools and roads.

Every year Rugby produces enough cement for the construction of more than 72,000 houses (assuming that an average house contains approximately 18 tonnes of cement). For more information, please see

Building the Future
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