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2020 / 2021 Edition

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Runway resurfacing success for CEMEX

Typhoon fighter aircraft

Company supplies more than 25,000 tonnes of asphalt to RAF Coningsby without halting operations

CEMEX have successfully completed a project to supply more than 25,000 tonnes of asphalt to RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire, while ensuring the site remained operational at all times.

RAF Coningsby is one of the UK’s Quick Reaction Alert stations which protect UK airspace. It is the home of two front-line, combat-ready squadrons and the main base for the RAF’s Typhoon fighter aircraft.

CEMEX’s Lincoln coating plant provided the asphalt over five months as a key part of the prestigious runway resurfacing project, a specific challenge of which was the requirement for the site to remain fully operational at all times, so the Typhoons could be scrambled in the event of an emergency.

As a result, contractors Colas resurfaced a short section of the runway each night, with CEMEX supplying up to 450 tonnes per shift of a porous friction course to meet the Ministry of Defence’s complex asphalt specifications.

James Playford, CEMEX area manager for asphalt, commented: ‘Meeting the requirements of this project required exceptional teamwork, and I am very proud of my colleagues and what we have achieved.

‘Initially, we were only expecting to supply the surface course material, however once the job had started the binder course layers also had to be replaced, which greatly increased the amount of product needed.

‘Therefore, co-ordination between several different areas of the business was vital. Our aggregates team at Roan Edge Quarry was the only site that could supply us with the required premium-quality hardstone and so had to work under considerable pressure; the technical team ensured we met the product specification; the sales team engaged with Colas; while the operational team fulfilled every single order to time, keeping the plant running day and night throughout the project.’

Mr Playford continued: ‘We wanted Colas to be reassured from the start of this high-profile scheme that we were the right supplier for this project, with the resources to create the perfect product. We carried out extensive mix testing and laying trials, as well providing a full operational capability tour of the asphalt plant.

‘This comprehensive and dedicated approach paid off and we are pleased the project has been such a success.’

Colas’ procurement manager, Steve Bryant, commented: ‘We were very impressed by CEMEX’s collaborative approach, which ensured they could meet the intricate specificities of the project in the constrained time frame. The finished runaway is a quality surface that will play a key part in this site’s defence work. All of the CEMEX employees involved should be very proud.’

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