“This project has been managed by DUNKERQUE PROMOTION since November 2013 in collaboration with Nord France Invest and Dunkerque-Port. Our agency and Nord France Invest have given ongoing support to the overall coordination of the project and have made a particular contribution to the financial aspect by steering contacts with the various partners,” said Dunkerque Promotion’s Assistant Director Patrick PETIT.
About ECOCEM France
ECOCEM FRANCE was formed in 2007 as a joint venture with ArcelorMittal Méditerranée for the recycling of granulated blast-furnace slag from the production of cast iron. The production facility is near the two blast furnaces at Fos-sur-Mer in the Bouches-du-Rhône. It produces ground slag under the brand name Ecocem, a product used mostly as a partial substitute for conventional cement in the manufacture of concrete.
ECOCEM FRANCE has experienced strong growth since its formation, with a turnover of 30M€ in 2015 (doubled in four years), and annual production of more than 500,000 tonnes.
ECOCEM FRANCE is a subsidiary of ECOCEM MATERIALS LTD, which was founded in Ireland in 2000. There are already two other subsidiaries, in Ireland (ECOCEM Ireland) and the Netherlands (ORCEM), and plans to build new factories in Europe and the USA. The Dunkirk plant will be the company’s fourth.
This new facility is the fruit of a cooperation between ECOCEM and ArcelorMittal. ECOCEM will convert and recycle the steel slag (a major ingredient in the product of their cements), using a sophisticated technology which makes the end product more environmentally-friendly, technically more efficient and more competitive, as well as aesthetic. The project represents a total investment of 47 million Euros over three years, generating the creation of 37 direct jobs and 40 during the construction phase, which is expected to last approximately 15 months. This new activity will also have positive impacts in terms of port traffic and orders for subcontracting. The production capacity will be 750,000 tonnes a year in Phase 1, with the potential of doubling this figure after extension.
ECOCEM grinds the blast-furnace slag very finely and uses it in the manufacture of its cement. It is an “environmentally-friendly” cement because one of the unique advantages of ECOCEM’s ground slag is a considerable reduction of the carbon footprint of concrete, the material most used in construction and public works.
“La deconstruction of the old DK4 power plant was an opportunity for ECOCEM to take over an industrial brownfield site close to ArcelorMittal and the maritime quays,” said Patrick GRACE, Administrator of ECOCEM France. “The short procurement circuits and the possibility of using blast-furnace gas to supply our process will help us achieve our targets for reducing CO2 emissions.”
Philippe VALETTE, Director of ArcelorMittal’s Dunkirk facility, commented: “Our partnership with ECOCEM will help us develop the recycling of our blast-furnace slag through an environmentally-friendly sector and through local jobs and investments. This initiative is in line with our goal of continuous improvement in the recycling of our production residues. In France, ArcelorMittal currently recycles 88% of these residues.”
Stéphane RAISON, CEO of Dunkerque-Port, expressed his satisfaction: “Dunkerque-Port and the local authorities have been fully mobilised in recent months to make ECOCEM’s decision a reality. In choosing this location, ECOCEM has proved that “industrial ecology” are not empty words for the Port of Dunkirk. Implementing circular-economy solutions is a priority development guideline for the Grand Port Maritime, and our technical and commercial staff work towards it on a daily basis.”
Patrice VERGRIETE, President of Dunkirk Urban Community, welcomed the news of this new installation: “It will strengthen the resolve of local operators to make Industrial and Local Ecology a real attraction for investment and the generation of jobs,” he said.