Dublin-based Ecocem Materials Ltd.’s subsidiary, Orcem Americas Inc., has signed a 65-year lease for 4.8 acres at the Vallejo Marine Terminal in California, reported the North Bay Business Journal. The company plans to invest $50 million for a cement manufacturing facility that will produce 2,200 tpd of ecological cement (ecocem) made from granulated blast-furnace slag.
The new plant will utilize energy-efficient processing equipment from Germany to grind and dry the raw, granular material into powder for distribution by truck. All equipment will be inside a vacuum-sealed, eco-friendly building. Additionally, Orcem has proposed to bring the raw material – a by-product of Japanese steel making – to Vallejo in ships that already carry grain to Japan, but currently return empty.
“For years the U.S. has been shipping grain to Japan on large ships that come back empty,” explained Orcem President Stephen Bryan during a joint “Manufacturing Matters” meeting of the Vallejo Chamber of Commerce and the Solano Economic Development Commission on June 12. “Now these vessels will carry our raw material on the return trip docking in Vallejo. Our product is more durable than traditional cement and delivers a longer life span for structures and road repairs.”
According to Orcem, ecocem has many advantages over traditional portland cement: using 90 percent less energy to produce; up to 80 percent reduction in emission of air pollutants such as nitrogen and sulfur oxides; and a near zero CO2 and mercury emissions. The unique cement has been used in the construction of the eastern span of the San Francisco Bridge, Levi’s Stadium (new home of the San Francisco 49ers) and the new Apple headquarters in Cupertino.
Once California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) certification is obtained, construction is set to run 18 months, positioning the plant for commissioning in the second quarter of 2016.