Page last updated at 11:19 GMT, Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Jobs threat as cement works shuts

Barrington cement kiln
The Barrington cement kiln is not energy efficient

Cement manufacturing is to end at a plant in South Cambridgeshire and 87 workers are facing redundancy.

CEMEX plans to stop cement making at Barrington and is meeting employee representatives to discuss details.

A company spokesman said: "In total there are 87 employees on the site who are at risk of being made redundant."

The plant produces 250,000 tonnes of cement a year and production is to be transferred to "more efficient" plants in Warwickshire and North Lincolnshire.

"Cement manufacturing at Barrington involves feeding wet raw materials, mainly limestone and clay, into a kiln.

"Compared to CEMEX's two other plants, this traditional process requires significantly more energy to manufacture the product," the spokesman said.

Possible depot

The recent downturn in the economy and the slowdown in the construction industry are also factors influencing the closure of the plant.

President of CEMEX UK, Gonzalo Galindo, said: "Barrington cement plant has been producing cement for nearly 80 years.

"The current economic climate has driven us to implement efficiencies and the closure of Barrington's kiln could help to secure the future of our cement manufacturing business in the UK."

One cement mill is to remain in operation during the first quarter of 2009 and the firm intends to explore the possibility of using the plant as a depot for East Anglia.

This could involve approximately 10 employees remaining on site and a small number of daily vehicle movements to and from the plant.

Alternative fuels made at Barrington from industrial and other wastes that cannot be recycled are likely to be diverted to CEMEX's other UK cement plants where permissions for their use are in place.

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