Cemex UAE is a leading ready mix concrete producer in the main urban markets of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The company, a subsidiary of Cemex International, also manufactures and distributes cement through its state of the art grinding mill in Dubai. Today, the company has a production capacity of 1.6 million tons per year.
Since the economic recession in 2007, Cemex UAE has shifted its focus somewhat, moving away from being a ‘just a supplier’ and towards being a supplier plus, meaning it will do more than simply supply its customers with a raw material.
“We have been working with our customers to deliver business solutions for the construction industry. We provide alternative solutions, new building technologies, design consultancy and advice regarding sustainable development,” says Marsat Lal Mirpuri, Commercial and Technical Director for CEMEX in UAE
As an example, the company has a team of consultants who specialize in LEED development and sustainable construction. They can advise customers on matters of green development and help them obtain LEED certification.
Building with sustainability in mind
Cemex is the largest Readymix and in the top 5 cement producer in the world and as such recognizes a need to make its operations greener on a global scale. Cement, by its very nature gives off a lot of C02 so the company has a lot of offsetting solutions in place to reduce its net impact. At some of Cemex’ global plants up to 70 percent of its fuel consumption is alternative fuel, while in Germany that number reaches 90 percent.
Such a huge emphasis is put on sustainability at the company, that worldwide it has become a strategic target to become the biggest fuel saver in the cement industry. On a global scale, 20 to 30 percent of its Cement production is powered using alternative fuel.
However the company doesn’t stop there, but is also a leader in using cement that is environmentally friendly. “We have put quite a significant focus on producing more sustainable materials,” says Mirpuri.
“We use waste material from the steel industry and make greener cement with it. It’s sustainable because we are making use of a waste material from another industry. We recommend it to all our clients and aim to use it 50 percent of the time. It doesn’t cost more and it’s more durable.
“Part of our strategy has been around commercializing slag; it is more durable, and has less heat of hydration. Traditionally the heat that the cement produces could make concrete crack in this hot climate, however our newly formed concrete reduces the chances for this to occur.
Cemex has also developed sustainable ready-mix concrete called ready green.
In order to encourage others in the construction industry to opt for sustainable solutions the company has developed a third-party approved C02 calculator, which allows developers to see how much C02 savings they will make by choosing sustainable cement. It is LEED approved and allows construction firms to calculate energy and cost savings. “The path to sustainability is about changing people’s mindsets,” says Mirpuri. “The whole industry’s mindset in fact.”
Being a global company, with a wealth of experience under its belt, Cemex can offer its clients more than cement products. “We can help our customers make significant time and money savings by using different solutions,” says Mirpuri. “We also put our customers in contact with one another and other contractors within the industry. We can help them with design, we can help them to obtain finance for their projects and we can support them from concept to delivery. Having a global knowledge of the industry really makes us stand out from the competition.”
Investing in people
Cemex UAE has 650 employees from the engineers to drivers and has an extremely good retention record, with some drivers being with the company for in excess of 20-years. “Most of our drivers have been with us for many years. Retention is good because of respect and an open door culture. A driver could walk into our CEOs office; there are no bureaucratic issues that some companies have,” says Mirpuri.
The company also offers great training to it employees, and thus career development opportunities. “Training is very extensive regarding the technical aspect of cement & readymix; we also do training from an operational perspective. We have a Global Commercial Academy for all Cemex employees, so the whole company has the same global approach.
One step ahead of the competition
So what sets Cemex ahead of the competition, in the UAE and on a global scale? “Whatever we promise we deliver. A commitment made is a commitment respected no matter what happens. No matter of the world comes to an end we will honor our promise,” says Mirpuri.
“We give our clients global knowledge; no one else can operate globally like us. No one will give you a global network of contractors, we do,” he continues.
“Our plan is to keep developing our green products, delivering solutions to the industry and integrating our knowledge and know-how of producing high quality concrete with people in the construction sector. We want to build partnerships to offer world-leading one-stop solutions.”
With the company’s track record to go by and its global footprint, we believe this could be very likely.