Building materials supplier Cemex is trialling a system which could radically cut its cement tankers’ fuel use and emissions.


The system is the brainchild of Nigel Ponton, Cemex UK national fleet engineer and involves the use of electric cement discharge, which replaces the traditional diesel-powered approach.

Ponton worked with supplier Gardner Denver to create the system, which is mounted onto the tractor unit and requires a three-phase connection to pressurise the tank and allow discharge to silo. The design means no additional equipment or investment is needed at the customer’s site.

The initial trial at Cemex’s UK operations has demonstrated a potential saving of over 4000kg of CO2 in a year, per vehicle, as well as 330 gallons of fuel. Cemex is now looking at rolling it out across its fleet of cement tankers.

Cemex said electric discharge not only cuts emissions but also enables a faster turnaround and significantly quieter delivery, as well as having the potential to reduce vehicle wear and tear over the long term.

Matthew Wild, Cemex EMEA, vice president of supply chain and procurement, said: “We have been very impressed with the results of the initial trial of the electric discharge equipment in our cement business.

“Every single delivery that uses this system to discharge cement, rather than the tanker’s own fuel, saves 13.5kg of CO2; if this equipment was used across our fleet over a full year the difference to our supply chain emissions would be considerable.”

Wild added: “We believe that every member of our workforce plays a role in ensuring we reach our goal of operating as a net zero company by 2050.

“The development and trial of this idea demonstrates that nurturing and investing into innovation in your business helps achieve your strategic priorities.

“Following the successful results of this trial, we are exploring incorporating it across our wider fleet, while also looking at land-based units which can be housed at site.”