Scots MEP John Purvis visited the Lothians this week and Dunbar in particular where Scotland’s only cement factory is investing in a £20 million project to cut sulphur dioxide and dust emissions.
Lafarge Cement UK which can produce up to a million tonnes of cement a year and which is the largest employer in the area, has completed the first phase of a `gas scrubbing’ plant.
The plant operates by firing a fine spray of water, mixed with powderd limestone, into the exhaust gases from the kiln.
As the gases flow through the mist they absorb sulphur dioxide and dust, leaving the gases cleaner and allowing the `stripped out’ material to be collected for treatment or re-use.
Mr Purvis also saw the major efforts the company is making to comply with the Waste Incineration Directive in recycling materials such as tyres, recycled liquid fuel and `renewable’ electricity from the nearby Virido landfill site.
“I was very impressed with the efforts this company is making to reduce emissions which more than comply with current EU directives designed to reduce waste and protect the environment, while maintaining a successful and profitable enterprise,” he said.
“As the largest employer in the area with 150 workers, Lafarge Cement takes its commitments seriously, including an apprentice training programme, serving the local community through various charitable events and in exercising responsibility of care for the environment.”
David Chrystall the Works Manager who conducted a tour of the plant with Mr Purvis, said: ”
“We were pleased to welcome Mr Purvis onsite to update him on progress with our £20 million environmental investment programme. Increasingly, legislation generated in Europe has a major impact on operations such as ours so we welcome the opportunity to brief our elected representatives on the challenges we face.”