Cemex unveils new low-emission, high-efficiency locomotive at Victorville Cement Plant in California.
By Mark S. Kuhar
Cemex USA unveiled a new low-emission, high-efficiency locomotive at its Victorville, Calif., cement plant as part of its continued commitment to sustainability and to enhance air quality in a community where it has operated for more than 100 years.
The locomotive, developed by Knoxville Locomotive Works and equipped with an MTU-4000 Series engine designed to reduce emissions by more than 80 percent and fuel consumption by 25 percent, was recently opened for local dignitaries to tour.
The new locomotive, which will be used to transport clinker at the operation, can provide more than 3,200 hp from an ultra-low emitting single engine designed to meet U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board Tier 4 Emissions requirements. The locomotive is expected to reduce emissions by 34 tpy.
“Sustainability is embedded in our DNA at Cemex, and this new locomotive illustrates that,” said Carlos Uruchurtu, Cemex USA vice president cement manufacturing–West Region. “Throughout our history at Victorville, we have made great strides in reducing our environmental footprint with increased reliance on renewable resources, and this new locomotive furthers our efforts to reduce CO2 emissions.”
Cemex’s Victorville Cement Plant has other initiatives on site promoting sustainability and conservation. The plant is home to four wind turbines that offset thousands of tons of emissions each year while fulfilling approximately 6 percent of the operation’s energy needs.
The plant has received the EPA’s ENERGY STAR certification for seven consecutive years, and it is reducing greenhouse gas emissions and landfill waste by replacing 20 percent of traditional fuels with alternative and renewable resources.
“Cemex continuously evaluates our operations and technologies to further our commitment to sustainability as we strive to be a good neighbor in our communities,” said Dr. Hugo Bolio, Cemex USA executive vice president of cement operations and technology. “The commitment extends across all our operations, and our Victorville Cement Plant is an example of what can be done when businesses and communities work together.”
A portion of the cost of the new locomotive was covered by a federal grant secured with the assistance of the Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District.
“We are honored to partner with a company whose facility has been a mainstay in the Victor Valley Community for more than 100 years,” said Brad Poiriez, executive director of the Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District. “To see a company with such history embrace the future and the environment through this emission-reducing technology is very gratifying. We hope other local organizations follow suit.”
Specializing in Safety
Cemex’s Victorville Cement Plant is focused on safety achievement. The transformation of its safety culture occurred in three main steps:
First, they recognized and admitted to themselves they deserved to be a safety hot spot and had no one to blame but themselves.
Second, a Health & Safety Management System Audit demonstrated engagement was a primary factor contributing to its safety record. Plant leadership ensured that demonstrated safety was more important than anything else and engaged their team in doing the same.
Finally, the team focused on executing proactive safety work, including increasing VFLs and Safety Improvement Cards and planning and executing safety improvement projects. Daily risk assessments and hazard mitigation programs, such as JHAs, Standard Work, Take 5’s and All Safe Exercises, contribute greatly to keeping people safe.
With all its successes, the Victorville team will tell you the only record that matters is completing today safe.
“Safety has no memory,” said Carlos Uruchurtu, Cemex USA vice president cement manufacturing–West Region. “Every day is a new day with new challenges. The team has to be ready, vigilant and remain engaged in recognizing and eliminating hazards to be successful.”