CEMEX officially opens new tunnel and processing plant
- 24 July 2009
- Company & Industry News
A new tunnel and processing plant at CEMEX's Taffs Well Quarry near Cardiff was officially opened by Jane Davidson, Minister for Environment, Sustainability and Housing, Welsh Assembly. The tunnel and plant represent an investment of over £14million and will prolong the life of the quarry by 20 years.
The quarry provides approximately 1 million tonnes of limestone every year which is used within a 10 mile radius for building and construction projects such as the M4 motorway and the new Cardiff shopping complex.
In 2006 work started on the new 200 metre, 2 lane tunnel which has been blasted through the rock face in the south east corner of the quarry. It has been designed to take all the lorries and traffic off the minor roads running alongside the quarry and through the nearby village of Pentyrch. The tunnel exits straight onto the major road network.
For the drivers, their journey is 2 miles shorter and with over 200 lorries travelling to and from the site every day, it means a substantial savings in time and fuel.
The idea for a tunnel was first muted over two decades ago but required careful consideration as the 60 hectare site has a rich heritage. Majestic beech woodlands flank the quarry on three sides and with its rich variety of flora and fauna the site was given Special Area of Conservation by the EU in 2005.
In 2007, further investment was made in a new processing plant sited in the bowl of the quarry with the removal of the old plant from the skyline. Constructed by Whitwick Engineering, it is a bespoke design to produce a range of single sized aggregates and blended products, with a capacity of 550 tonnes per hour. The plant incorporates a Locotrack 140 primary crusher, Kleeman impact crusher, Binder primary crusher and Don Valley sizing screens.
"With the exception of the mobile primary crusher, all processing operations and load-out functions are fully automated. The system was designed in-house and integrates with various software systems. For our customers it means direct loading of weighed aggregates through smart cards and a quick turn around of vehicles. They get the product they require, the correct weight they require, delivered quickly and efficiently," comments Lex Russell, Vice President, Aggregates
As well as being more aesthetically pleasing for the surrounding community, moving the plant releases a further 20 million tonnes of limestone and saves on fuel to transport the stone from the rock face to the processing plant.
The release of the limestone ensures the continuity of the quarry, the employment of local people and aggregates for local construction projects for the next 20 years.