Lafarge show environmental officials the ropes
Featured in14 June 2012 - 14:59
Bespoke three-day course helps regulators get to grips with the cement-making process
LAFARGE welcomed the Environment Agency (EA), Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and the Mineral Products Association (MPA) to Hope Works last week when they hosted a bespoke course to promote better understanding of sustainable cement manufacturing.
The three-day ‘Principles of Cement Manufacturing’ (PCM) course has been designed by Lafarge to help environmental inspectors and advisors to get to grips with cement making and gain a proper understanding of the technologies the company has developed to make the process as sustainable as possible.
Throughout the three-day programme, 17 attendees from the EA, SEPA and MPA were shown various aspects of the cement-making process from the quarrying of raw materials to cement milling and blending and clinker chemistry, including operating a cement kiln via a simulator to give an hands-on experience.
Visitors were also given a full tour of the works and a walk through the quarry to give them a holistic understanding of the complex manufacturing process.
Lafarge’s national environment manager, Dave Shenton, who masterminded the course, said: ‘The changing structure of the regulatory bodies into a more specific sector approach means ‘new’ inspectors and advisors from the UK’s regulatory bodies need to understand the complex processes involved in cement manufacturing in order to achieve better and more efficient regulation across the industry.
‘We’ve designed this course to help them improve their knowledge and we hope that the interactive course is a more enjoyable way of learning about cement making and the innovations we’ve introduced to reduce the environmental impact of our operations, and also the high technical skills and passion our employees have in their work.’
According to Lafarge, feedback from those who attended the course has been very positive.
Mark Haslam, Environment Agency environment manager for the East area said: ‘With a more sector-specific approach, our inspectors and advisors require a deeper level of understanding of individual industries than before in order to make informed decisions to protect the environment.
‘Lafarge’s PCM course has been invaluable in that respect and our team who attended learned a great deal.’
Dr Richard Lease, director of energy and climate change at the Mineral Products Association, who also attended the course, added: ‘Understanding the technical challenges of cement manufacturing is an important aspect of the MPA’s role.
‘The presentation of the course struck the right balance between technical content and practical delivery. Putting the theory in real-life manufacturing situations will assist MPA in its role to demonstrate how vital cement making is to the UK economy.’