Sy scion to launch own cement firm

In Photo: Big Boss Cement Inc. President Gilbert S. Cruz (right) responds to questions from the media as Chief Innovator Ishmael Ordonez looks on during the company’s press launch at the Green Sun hotel in Makati City.

BIG Boss Cement Inc. (BBCI), a company led by Henry Sy Jr., has entered the local cement market, claiming it will offer a “greener way” to manufacture cement with ingredients for “stronger structures.”

Sy, known as “Big Boy” and is the eldest son of tycoon Henry Sy Sr., said he will formally unveil the cement firm next week.

“It will [have a] revolutionary cement-manufacturing process that results in strong structures and the most environment-friendly cement in the world,” BBCI President Gilbert S. Cruz said.

Cruz, who is also an engineer, said the company is investing some P2 billion for a 1.5-million bag-capacity cement-manufacturing plant in Porac, Pampanga. The facility will make use of the lahar deposit in the area, replacing limestone as key ingredient.

“We are excited at the prospects of making a positive impact, not only in the local construction industry, but also in terms of decreasing air pollution and damage to the environment,” Cruz said.

The new product will do away with relying on heating limestone and other ingredients until it forms clinker, a key material in cement production. The company said it will also use mostly available additives in the production of cement.

Cruz said the first product will be called “Big Boss Cement Type 1P” and will be made available to the market by March.

“The new technology does away with the more than centuries-old system of mining raw materials, such as limestone, clay, shale and sand and heating these inside a kiln at around 1,500 degrees centigrade,” the company said in a statement. “This old process produces heavy carbon-dioxide emissions, which is why the cement industry to date accounts for around 5 percent of harmful CO2 emissions in the world. In addition, the quarrying of raw materials, if not done in a responsible manner, leads to the destruction of the environment.”

Cruz said BBCI as filed for a patent on their manufacturing process but is pending approval.

In the traditional method, the process begins by mining raw materials, such as limestones and clays. These are eventually crushed and stacked for grinding. The mix is dried and grinded again before cooking in a kiln feed with silica and/or clay. The mix undergoes stages of preheating up to 1,500 centigrade to produce clinker. This component, added with gypsum, is then milled together to become cement.

“What BBCI has done is invent a new manufacturing process, which makes use of readily available materials, such as lahar, and almost all types of soil and fillers that require less heat in order to produce high-quality cement products,” Cruz said, adding that they can use other pozzolanic materials to produce the cement.

“Science and technology are key drivers of our organization,” he added. “We put a premium on research and development to be able to produce products that are superior while keeping in mind environmental sustainability.”

Image Credits: Roy Domingo

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