Sunday, March 25, 2007


Taken the 23rd March

It is not Cemex Rugby - this time - But Castle Cement, Padeswood.

When the tonnes of molten rock come crashing down it has a devastating impact as the dust is forced out of every weak point, coating surrounding areas in dust, as many kilograms, or tonnes, of particulates escape into the atmosphere, to be carried by the wind onto unsuspecting nearby inhabitants. These sufferers are normally animals, but the UK (unusually) seems to have a policy of building BRAND NEW cement plants in built-up urban areas, so PEOPLE are the unwilling recipients of this mass pollution.

Sometimes cardox is used in an attempt to break up the clumps, or free up the blockages. Kilns are very sensitive to changes in chemistry and any chemical imbalance can cause these incidents, as workers attempt to maintain control of the kiln, trying to avoid a costly and time consuming shut down.

The 14 and 15th October 2005 incident at Cemex Rugby, which earned a £400,000 fine at Warwick Crown Court, was such an occasion, when dust spewed out from everywhere, landing on people up to three miles away. The associated diversion of hundreds of tonnes of reject clinker into the reject silo caused even more clinker dust to be forced out into the atmosphere, from an open door higher up in the silo.

Kilns are likely to suffer these and other events fairly frequently, and it is difficult to gain information about these events, as the companies are, for obvious reasons, not broadcasting them to the inhabitants. The answers to this are twofold:

A) install a stack cam that videos direct to the web, so they can be checked at any time.

B) install telemetry so that the public can read the data from the CEM continuous emissions monitors from the main stack live online.


Anonymous said...

What does your local Rugby Borough Council do to protect the people who live near the plant - do they take frequent samples, and have boundary site monitors, and cameras trained on it 24/7? No, nothing - I guessed not!

Is it yet another case where the plant is EXEMPT from any properly enforced controls, and that the people have no choice but to be permanently polluted, and have no say at all in in the matter? Yes - I guessed so!

So Cemex have an open-ended license to pollute locally, and a CO2 allowance of a couple of million tonnes for EU trading purposes? One tonne of clinker emits one tonne carbon dioxide - not to mention all the other green houses gases!

Rugby is not the place to be. Small wonder the Environment Agency has hidden Rugby's infamous cement plant and kept it off the "What's in my Backyard Pollution Register"!

mjenkins said...

I live in Cockburn Western Australia and Cockburn Cement which I believe is own by Cemex Rugby is about to double its output with a new kiln. Some of their kilns are very old and will be trialling burning fly ash, plastics and tyres on October. Complains about how we are being poisoned at night is ignored by the plant and State government. Local council does not speak of Cockburn Cement -the mayor has banned discussion of it.
The CCL Cockburn Cement Ltd is about to sign off on a put up "community consultation" when we know nothing about it, with their hand picked people who support the mayor. Someone has facts dated back years but so far no one has listened. The fight is on.
This is another David and Goliath fight and most of the population are so apathetic and the media is offside. I managed a letter in the local press last week and sent out info to State ministers, unions, Conservation council WA and Murdoch University also spoke on the local radio but not much feed back.