In recent years, America’s cement production industry has had to sustain and adapt to increased environmental regulation to lower emissions – with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) bringing in its National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) rule from September 2015.
The US cement industry is now locked into negotiations with the EPA on limits and definitions of hazardous material.
US cement producers are fast adapting to the new regulatory environment. CalPortland, the West Coast group, has put store on its sustainability credentials, which the EPA acknowledged this year with an environmental award for its energy efficiency initiatives, including its US$14M terminal storage dome at the Port of Anchorage. Last year, Alaska Basic Industries – CalPortland’s joint venture with Alaska Sand & Gravel – commissioned the 40,000t facility alongside existing silos with 20,000t capacity.
Cement storage domes at port terminals have become more common across the US. CalPortland has similar storage solutions in Portland, Oregon and in Stockton, California. The efficiency benefits offered by the dome at Anchorage includes cutting the time it takes to unload a cement bulker, which can be up to two weeks, and the operational boon of freeing up the quay for other cargoes.
CalPortland’s investment comes as the Port of Anchorage looks to develop a new cement and fuel dock as the US$127M first phase of its US$547M port modernisation programme to replace ageing docks and handling infrastructure. The project includes an 800ft pneumatic distribution line and new ship-unloading equipment. The municipality has been lobbying the state to sanction a US$290M bond initiative to raise money for the modernisation. All eyes are now on how President Trump plays his hand.