Breaking into the UK market has long been an aim for Ecocem Ireland, and forms part of our overall business strategy to develop export markets from our existing facilities.
A booming construction sector in the UK, which has driven up demand for cement, as well as changes to its coal and steel sectors which have hit cement supplies, means we have a unique opportunity to stake our claim on the market here.
Latest industry forecasts from Experian suggest that construction output is set to grow by 3.6% this year and by 4.3% in 2017, reaching outputs of £142billion in 2017 – proving the construction industry is on the up.
As a market-leading manufacturer and supplier if GGBS (Ground Granulated Blastfurnace Slag) which minimises the environmental impact of concrete used in the construction industry, the ability to meet the demands of this thriving sector is vital.
When we came to Peel Ports in 2014, we knew there was a need to take our product as close to the market in which we operate, while still maintaining cost efficiencies for our customers.
Through a collaborative approach, as well as a co-investment framework, we were able to develop a multiple entry solution which will easily allow us to transport our product from our facilities in the Netherlands and Dublin, directly to our UK customers.
Location was extremely important to us and Peel Ports’ accessible port locations have provided us with a significant advantage to reach the heartland of the UK’s construction industry.
Our first facility in Runcorn will allow us to handle materials from our Dublin Facility. They will arrive into the UK via the Manchester Ship Canal, and then delivered to customers in the North of England via road.
Ensuring our operations are environmentally friendly is important to us, and being able to direct our products as near as possible to its final destination, we are able to keep road mileage and carbon emissions to a minimum.
Plans to establish a second terminal at Peel Ports Sheerness, to service the lucrative South East market later this year, will give us access to 80 percent of the UK market.
Our total investments total around £4million, which is money well spent as far as Ecocem is concerned.
Despite our Runcorn facility having only just opened, we already have orders for 200,000 tonnes of product this year – more than our total domestic sales last year.
This is our first ever UK-based investment and thanks to the support of Peel Ports, we are in a position where we can demonstrate to the market that we are here for the long term.
Managing Director, Ecocem Ireland
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