Boral cements Geelong commitment with new grinding site

September 8, 2021

Boral has affirmed its long-term investment in the Geelong community with the development of a new mega grinding and cement storage facility at Lascelles Wharf.

The newly built site, which is nearing completion, will have the capacity to grind around 1.3 million tonnes a year of granulated blast furnace slag and “clinker” — a mix of limestone and minerals transformed in a hot kiln, finely ground and mixed with gypsum and other raw materials to make cement.

Construction of the new cement facility reaffirms Boral’s ongoing investment in the Geelong community for the next 40 years and prepares for expected substantial growth in demand for cement products.

“In designing for the long term, Boral has future-proofed the facility to allow for growth to support Victoria’s infrastructure, housing and construction sector,” the ASX-listed company says.

Boral says it strategically chose the Walchs Road, North Shore location as the facility is connected to Lascelles Wharf by an innovative covered conveyor system, providing significant transportation efficiencies and removing truck movement from Geelong roads.

Once the plant is fully operational, clinker and slag will be unloaded from ships and delivered to the site via the conveyors and after processing, the final products will be sent to market via enclosed tanker trucks.

Dry cement ‘powder’ is pumped into tankers under air pressure to ensure the maximum volume can be shipped and the chance for any product to escape is greatly reduced.

Construction of the new portside grinding, storage and despatch facility is underway and expected to be complete in 2022, while wharf side work underway includes ship unloading equipment such as wharf side hoppers and the innovative conveying to site system.
The first phase of the grinding component is set to be ready this year at an initial output of 750,000 tonnes of cement annually. The second stage — the remaining grinding capacity and the slag drying and handling — is scheduled be complete in 2022.

EGM Cement Rajeev Ramankutty says Boral’s significant investment will ensure the supply of cement to Victoria, and adjacent markets in South Australia and Tasmania, for many years to come.

“This brand new facility will provide efficiencies which will benefit local residents, including a reduction in truck movements on Geelong roads,” he says.

“We’re proud this new facility represents Boral’s ongoing commitment to driving sustainability in the manufacturing of our products.”

Slag is a by-product of steel manufacturing and can be substituted for cement in some concrete products. Boral’s new facility will up its use of slag in manufacturing cement, allowing greater repurposing of a resource otherwise headed for landfill.

Boral’s cement can be found in buildings of all types, roads, bridges, tunnels, pathways, public spaces such as parks and plazas, walls and barriers and art installations.

The new site promises ongoing job opportunities for the greater Geelong area and a significant economic boost for a rapidly growing area.