Bulk Distributor May/Jun 16 - Page 28

28 BULKDISTRIBUTOR Terminals & Storage May/June 2016 Ecocem opens new bulk cement terminal E cocem Ireland has raised its export capacity with the launch of its first UKbased bulk import terminal along the Manchester Ship Canal. The terminal which represents a £2million investment has been developed in partnership with Peel Ports, to help Ireland’s leading manufacturer of high performance, low carbon cement capitalise on the booming UK construction market. A further £2million has already been committed to increase capacity at the Runcorn Docks site to meet growing demands. The new bulk facility will handle cement from Ecocem’s production site in Dublin Port. From here it will be processed and transported direct to the heartland of the UK’s construction industry via road, rail and water. Ecocem Ireland says it is the leading manufacturer of GGBS (ground granulated blastfurnace slag) which minimises the environmental impact of concrete, while maximising its technical performance. It has already been used extensively in the UK including on projects such as the Olympic Stadium and The Shard in London. Locally it has been used on projects in Manchester and Liverpool including One St Peter’s Square and BDP studios. This first ever UK-based investment forms part of Ecocem Ireland’s overall strategy to develop export markets from its existing facilities. Construction has also started on a further UK import facility at Peel Ports Sheerness, giving access to the lucrative London and South East England markets. Conor O’Riain, managing director of Ecocem Ireland, said: “We’ve invested in state of the art equipment to demonstrate to the market that we are here for the long term, and I’m delighted to say that the response from the market has been phenomenal. We’ve made commitments to sell more in the UK in our first year than our total domestic sales in 2016.” Andrew Martin, group land and property director at Peel Ports Group, added: “We have been able to provide a multi-site solution that will accelerate the delivery of product as close as possible to the end customer.” Cement production in the UK has traditionally not been sufficient to cope with domestic demand. The shortfall is covered by imports from around Europe, and using alternative locally available materials. Two of the most prominent materials are fly ash, a by-product of the burning of coal, and GGBS (manufactured using a byproduct of the production of steel), the technology used by Ecocem. The demand for low carbon materials in Europe has never been stronger, reinforced by the historic international agreements at the recent COP 21. Ecocem’s stated ability to deliver a reduction of over 70 percent in the carbon footprint of concrete, which remains the world’s most popular building material, means the future looks bright for the Irish firm. Ecocem Ireland’s first ever UK-based investment forms part of its strategy to develop export markets HHLA expands rail terminal H amburg container terminal operator Hamburger Hafen und Logistik (HHLA) is expanding the rail terminal at its Container Terminal Altenwerder (CTA). The CTA rail terminal will have nine tracks in future, instead of the current seven, and the expansion will increase the terminal’s capacity by 140,000 to 930,000 TEU. Since 2010, annual throughput at the rail terminal has risen by almost 20 percent to 769,000 TEU in 2015. Rail’s share of total container volume has also continued to grow in recent years. The German Federal Ministry of Transport expects that transport services of rail freight traffic will increase by 43 percent by 2030. Dr Stefan Behn, of HHLA’s executive board, explained that the construction project would enable the terminal to increase efficiency. “Once construction work has been completed, we will have two more tracks available, thereby allowing us to provide our customers with an even more attractive service,” he said. “With this clear commitment to rail as a mode of transport, we are also strengthening Hamburg as a rail port, and in the expansion of the rail terminal, too, we are continuing to focus on automation.” The total area of the rail terminal will be unaffected by the expansion, as the two additional tracks will be built on the existing area. The distance between the tracks will become smaller, meaning that checking container data will no longer be done, as before, by terminal staff who would drive along between the trains. For this reason, a so-calle d ‘train gate’ had to be built. This automatically records the container data on incoming trains as they enter the terminal. The automatic recording is quicker than the manual recording carried out previously, which means that train handling operations can start sooner. No longer using diesel-powered vehicles to check the trains also means that emissions of CO2 at the already largely electrified CTA can also be further reduced. CTA managing director Oliver Dux emphasised: “When planning the reconstruction work, we paid particularly close attention to keeping the inevitable restrictions to handling to a minimum. In both stages of the expansion, we will have four tracks available. The six months planned for the construction work is ambitious, but we are nonetheless continually reviewing further possibilities for optimisation, in order to further shorten the construction period. We are also using a range of measures to optimise the utilisation of the existing capacities. We have been keeping our customers The CTA rail terminal is expanding from seven to nine tracks