Imerys’ Fos-sur-Mer plant celebrates its 100th anniversary
This year, Imerys is extremely proud to celebrate the centenary of its French Fos-sur-Mer plant, specialized in the production of calcium aluminate based products. On April 30th, employees and their families were invited to take part in various events and festivities organized to commemorate 100 years of site existence.
An exceptional (hi)story
The origin story of Fos-sur-Mer plant actually starts in 1908, when industry leader Jules Bied of the Pavin de Lafarge company first patented one of Imerys’ oldest products, Ciment Fondu®, after successfully inventing a sulfate-resistant specialty binder to line railway tunnels through rocks with high concentrations of magnesium and sodium sulfate. It was in 1922 that the traditional Romain Boyer cement plant was constructed at Fos-sur-Mer, which was then acquired in 1929 by the Chaux et Ciments Lafarge company. In 1938, the plant was producing all Ciment Fondu in France. In 2003, the plant gained its independence, becoming Kerneos in the process. And, in 2017 it joined Imerys family.
Today, the 52 hectare Imerys Fos-sur-Mer site employs over 100 men and women, all inheritors of a long standing industrial heritage and know-how, all working hard to develop its activities, and pass on their experience to generations to come.
One of the world’s largest producers calcium aluminate binders
Calcium aluminate binders are obtained through reaction at high temperature between lime, extracted from limestone and alumina contained in bauxite. After cooling, the product obtained is a hard mineral called clinker, which is crushed into a fine powder to become calcium aluminate binder. It has become a prominent fixture in the construction and maintenance of our modern world. Its fast setting, high performance properties and resistance to the extremest of conditions means it has been called upon for everything from our monuments, our museums and runways to our hydraulic dams, sanitation networks and refractories.
Fos-sur-Mer: a legacy founded on environmental sustainability
Over the course of its 100 year history, the site has made considerable progress in terms of environmental sustainability by always making use of the most advanced technologies. Investments have included altering the raw materials and fuels used, as well as installing emissions reduction equipment. These steps, together with its commitments to customers and local players have earned Fos-sur-Mer ISO 9001, 45001 and 14001 certifications and NF standard, CE certification or even BIS and CIDB internationally.
“The major challenge for the future is of course the reduction of the ecological footprint. Although significant progress has already been made on the site in terms of the environment, it is the responsibility of everyone involved to take up this subject even more by aiming for a significant reduction in our carbon footprint, thereby giving the opportunity to our customers to reduce theirs.” outlined Philippe Bourg, Senior Vice President Refractory Abrasives & Construction and member of the Imerys Executive Committee.
A day a celebration for everyone
In site/plant years, 100 years is ancient. The fact that, after one century of operation, Fos-sur-Mer is still one of the main jewels in the Imerys crown is testament to the hard work and dedication of all the generations of employees that have served there. It was only natural that any celebrations would involve the people and their families — the heroes of Fos-sur-Mer’s success.
On April 30th, following welcome speeches by Philippe Bourg, Senior Vice President Refractory Abrasives & Construction, and David Bellicini, Fos-sur-Mer Plant Manager, people were welcomed to the site for visits, a collaborative painting, a quiz, and childrens’ activities.
“Fos-sur-Mer really is a very special site, it’s so anchored into the local environment and community that you really feel as though you are looking after a family and heritage, as well as running one of the Group’s most strategically important plants. Today’s celebrations bring all of that together. It was only natural to invite friends and family, as like the many generations that have worked here before us, they represent the next group of individuals that will continue to make Fos-sur-Mer a leader in its domain.” shares David Bellicini, Fos-sur-Mer Plant Manager.
On Thursday, May 12, Alessandro Dazza, Chief Executive Officer of Imerys, will be visiting Fos-sur-Mer for a site visit, and of course, join in the well-earned celebrations.
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