A Texas concrete materials supply chain fixture, the Holcim (US) Inc. Midlothian plant is the first cement mill in the country to fully convert to production of portland limestone cement (PLC), where fine limestone at 5 percent to 15 percent volumes is ground with clinker. The finished binder exhibits performance comparable to ordinary portland cement, but has a lower embodied carbon factor due to the reduction of energy-intensive clinker.
The decision to convert Midlothian to OneCem, part of the Envirocore blended cement portfolio, represents what Chicago-based LafargeHolcim calls a “monumental step in the industry’s efforts to provide low-carbon materials and solutions.” OneCem has been rigorously tested and proven to serve as an effective alternative for ordinary portland cement, yielding durable, high-performance concrete. The Midlothian plant is capable of producing 2 million tons of cement per year. By shifting to OneCem from clinker-only finishing, the operation will be poised to reduce annual carbon dioxide emissions by up to 70 million pounds—a volume equivalent to the CO2 footprint of 5,800 homes’ energy consumption for one year. Against ordinary portland cement, OneCem provides the same level of performance in terms of concrete workability, set time, durability and strength development. Holcim (US) plans to rapidly expand production and distribution of the material beyond the Western and Southern regions where it has launched.
“This is an important, but not unique, step for us. We were the first to produce OneCem, a PLC product, in one of the fastest-growing metro areas in the country, and fuel our industry’s step towards a zero carbon future,” says LafargeHolcim Senior Vice President of Sales, U.S. Cement Patrick Cleary. “OneCem is one way we’re supporting customers who are using every tool at their disposal. In Texas and beyond, concrete producers are taking enormous strides and embracing solutions with environmental and performance benefits.”
“LafargeHolcim has gone on record with our net-zero [carbon emissions] commitment,” adds LafargeHolcim U.S. Cement CEO Toufic Tabbara. “Transitioning the operational focus at our Midlothian plant to OneCem reflects confidence in this product and growing customer demand for solutions that help achieve their sustainability goals.”
LEHIGH HANSON REPACKAGES PLC
EcoCemPLC portland limestone cement from Lehigh Hanson Inc. arrives at big box and construction supply accounts this month in updated bags. The packaging redesign dovetails an ongoing commitment to carbon footprint reduction and offering more sustainable options for Lehigh Hanson packaged or bulk cementitious products. A footprint icon plays prominently in the bag and emphasizes a key PLC metric: Carbon dioxide emissions factor about 10 percent below that of ordinary portland cement.