Cement dries up in UK after "industrial issues"

A cement shortage is threatening to stop work on construction sites across the UK, according to a report in Construction News.

A cement shortage is threatening to stop work on construction sites across the UK, according to a report in Construction News.

Contractors and readymix concrete producers face severe disruption after cement deliveries started to dry up last week.

Manufacturers said supplies have been hit by maintenance shutdowns and a string of technical problems at plants, including a kiln explosion.

 

The problems have left some customers without cement for days.

Contractors and concrete producers are being forced to seek alternative arrangements; however, there is a scarcity of spare cement capacity throughout the UK.

One readymix firm has been forced to ferry a fleet of tankers across to mainland Europe to keep its customers in concrete. Cement giant Lafarge has a capacity to produce up to six million tonnes of cement each year, but an industry insider has claimed that stocks at its Sunderland depot have fallen to just 40 tonnes.

Lafarge told its customers that significant industrial issues have left it with no stock. Readymix producers Tarmac Northern, Cemex Northern and Lafarge Readymix, along with various independent producers, were informed by Lafarge that it would be unable to supply them with material until it had built up stocks. The company was recently hit by an explosion at one of its kilns at its Hope production plant in Derbyshire.

Production has also been disrupted by maintenance shutdowns at its plants in Cauldon, Staffordshire, and Dunbar, southeast Scotland.

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