The third production site of our subsidiary Corporación Moctezuma - the new greenfield Apazapan cement plant - was inaugurated at the end of 2010 joining the two other plants of Tepetzingo (Morelos) and Cerritos (San Luis Potosí).
The plant is located in the state of Veracruz, 60 km from Xalapa, the capital, and 100 km from the port of Veracruz in the Gulf of Mexico. The plant has a production capacity of 3,300 tons of clinker per day.
Construction work began in April 2008. The engineering, mechanical and electrical assembly work continued until the end of September 2010 when the first start-up tests began. The construction site deployed up to 1,200 internal employees and local contractors per day, used approximately 40,000 m3 of concrete for the foundations, 35,000 m3 for the above-ground construction, over 30,000 m3 of paving, 7,000 tons of structural steel and 12,000 tons of process equipment, most of which came from Europe.
The plant is served by a limestone quarry situated behind the plant and a clay quarry located in another valley approximately 3 km to the west, with enough reserves for approximately 75 years for a plant with double the current capacity.
Several large mining works were completed in order to exploit these quarries as economically and environmentally sustainably as possible. The limestone quarry is excavated using the descending horizontal slicing method with spoil through sub-vertical shaft. The shaft directly feeds the underground crushing plant which is connected to the limestone storage area at the plant by a conveyor belt running through a tunnel. In order to mine the clay, we opted to connect the quarry and the storage area by means of a conveyor belt running uphill inside two tunnels connected by embankments. Completing the installation is a semi-mobile crushing plant connected to the conveyor belt in the tunnel by means of rippable belts. The entire mining works can be summed up with the following figures: 2,900 linear meters of tunnel, 70,000 m3 of excavated area and 125 linear meters of shaft.
The kiln produced the first batch of clinker during the night of 29-30 November 2010, and by March 2011 has been able to maintain a production capacity of 96%.
We are particularly proud of the new plant’s low environmental impact due to its state-of-the-art technology, the best that the Buzzi Unicem group has available and which allows us to obtain best-in-class performance in terms of electrical and thermal energy consumption. As a result, both the direct and indirect atmospheric emissions in general and CO2 in particular are minimal. The hot filtration system completely eliminates the consumption of process water. Costing a total of around 260 million dollars, the Apazapan cement plant has created jobs for at least 200 direct and indirect employees and will supply the central and southern states of Mexico.