January 23, 2018, 11:51 pm
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Sy Jr. ventures into cement

Businessman Henry Sy Jr. has ventured into cement using an untested yet groundbreaking technology that would produce cement that is 80 percent cheaper than existing brands.

Sy is chairman of Big Boss Cement Inc. (BBCI) which is investing P1.5 billion to P2 billion to start up the manufacture of Big Boss cement which will use lahar and other readily available raw materials.

That amount is half the cost of a traditional plant that uses a century-old system that starts with mining raw materials such as limestone, clay, shale and sand and heating them inside a kiln.  This old process produces heavy carbon dioxide emissions,

The investment in the 100-percent Filipino-owned company was undertaken by Sy in his personal capacity.

Gilbert Cruz, BBCI president and developer of the technology, said the company will unveil next week details of Big Boss cement’s revolutionary manufacturing process that results in strong structures and the most environment-friendly cement in the world.

The company will initially produce 1.5 million bags of cement per month  in a facility in Porac, Pampanga which will make use of the area’s lahar deposit to replace coked limestone as key ingredient.  BBCI is already looking for other possible sites.

“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,” said Cruz. 

In essence, the new product does away with relying on coking limestone, a key ingredient to produce cement, replacing it with mostly available additives to in a cement finished product.  It first product will be called “Big Boss Cement Type 1P: Reduced clinker. Super tough. Eco friendly.” and will be available in the market by March 2018. 

“Its patent-pending manufacturing process makes use of readily available raw materials, such as lahar, and does not require excessive heat in order to produce high quality products,” BBCI said.

Cruz said the new process does away with the almost 200-year old formula of manufacturing cement by Joseph Aspdin.

“With the traditional method, the process begins by mining raw materials such as limestones, clays, and other resources in the area. These elements are eventually crushed and stacked into a stockpile for grinding. The mix are dried and grinded again before cooking in a kiln feed with silica and/or clay, and undergoes stages of preheating up to 1,5000 centigrade to produce clinker. This component, added with gypsum, is then milled together to become cement,” he said. 

“What BBCI has done is invent a new manufacturing process which makes use of readily available materials, such as lahar, almost all types of soil and fillers that requires less heat in order to produce high-quality cement products,” he added. 

Cruz also said BBCI “can make use any pozzolanic materials” to produce the cement. 

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

Currently the company is producing its cement in a 5,000 bags per month laboratory in Manila before production gets full-scale with the opening of the Pampanga facility. The facility is currently 95 percent complete.  

BBCI expects its facility to supply 3 percent of the projects 40 million metric ton cement demand by 2023; it currently stands at 25 million metric tons. 

Its first product, the Big Boss Cement Type 1P  will be available in the market in March 2018. 
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