An optimized industrial tool
In order to adapt its minerals to precise industrial applications, Imerys transforms them to obtain the desired properties. This transformation requires expertise and complex industrial processes which are often exclusive and constantly optimized. This makes it possible to adapt all the Group’s activities to changes in its markets, to keep its overheads under control and to increase its flexibility and competitiveness.
Making the most of mineral assets
Imerys has an in-depth knowledge of the specific properties of each mineral in its various qualities, as well as its most suitable applications. The refining and transformation tools used to purify and adapt the minerals to precise industrial applications are adjusted to work best with a particular quality of reserve.
Either directly or as part of research partnerships with institutes and universities, Imerys has developed numerous exclusive procedures, technologies and products which need protecting. In particular, the Group has cutting-edge expertise in grinding, particle classification, surface chemistry, suspension rheology, calcination and high-temperature fusion. On an industrial scale, this expertise makes it possible to obtain the purity, dimension, shape or structure of particles most likely to have the desired properties for a given application.
Expansion of the industrial base
In 2012, the Group kept the cost of operating maintenance at its 2011 level and continued to commit capital expenditure for development:
- construction of the new Celite Cynergy™ production line in Lompoc (California, USA), launched in 2011, has now been completed. The unit supplies its North American and Asian customers with the innovative filtration and stabilization agent for beer;
- in Malaysia, the FilmLink™ production unit came on stream to supply the Asian personal care market.
In addition, Imerys began construction of three new facilities that should come on stream in late 2013:
- doubling of production capacity at the Willebroek plant (Belgium, Graphite & Carbon activity);
- construction of a lime production plant in Brazil;
- start-of construction for a fused alumina production plant in Bahrain.
Thanks to the acquisition of a refractory bauxite deposit in Brazil (Pará State), Imerys will be able to expand its refractory and abrasives specialty offering in the medium term.
Improving processes’ energy efficiency
Coordinated management of energy consumption, targeted investments and the development of energy and carbon action plans by operational units allow a larger proportion of alternatives energy sources to be used.
Incorporating operational excellence in a proactive Sustainable Development approach
Safety of operators and local communities, future restoration of sites and environmental costs – these fundamental criteria, taken into account from planning stage, contribute to the selection of operating methods to minimize the impact on the natural environment. Aside from its local regulatory obligations, the Group believes in the sustainable management and rehabilitation of its sites for the benefit of communities. This demanding and responsible approach is the rule in all countries. It makes it easier to fully integrate activities into their host environment and to obtain new operating permits.
Find out more about our proactive Sustainable Development approach