LafargeHolcim Site Visit-Interesting facts about a cement factory

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LafargeHolcim St Constant plant's EHS in charge, Karla Delorme (front) with the Nimonik team

LafargeHolcim St Constant plant’s Environmental in charge, Karla Delorme (front) with the Nimonik team


LafargeHolcim is one the leading global manufacturers of building material, primarily, cement, aggregate, and concrete.

With 2400 facilities in over 80 countries and more than 90,000 employees, they face myriad challenges every day.

To address some of their Environmental, Health & Safety compliance challenges, LafargeHolcim uses NimonikApp.

To better comprehend the trials our clients face every day, we often visit their facilities to observe and understand their operations first-hand. When LafargeHolcim gave us the opportunity to visit their St Constant plant, everyone at Nimonik was beyond ecstatic. So much so that staff from all departments, from sales and marketing to tech and operations willingly went through a 30-minute training and an exam which all facility visitors need to take prior to their visit.

Once at the plant, after wearing the appropriate PPEs; a hard hat, protective shoes, eyewear, vest, gloves and ear-plugs, we were given a detailed and informative tour by the facility’s lovely Environmental in charge, Karla Delorme.

Jonathan Brun (front) Nimonik's CEO with colleagues

Jonathan Brun (front), Nimonik’s CEO with colleagues, all ready with proper PPE for the plant visit

Karla has been working at the plant for more than five years and knows it inside out. We followed her across the huge facility, trying to absorb every bit of information she was sharing.

Two feet of snow and sub-zero freezing temperatures couldn’t wane our spirits.

Karla with Jonathan

Karla with Jonathan, Nimonik’s founder and CEO, with the limestone quarry in the background

After giving us the VIP tour of the quarry, the mill and the kiln, Karla even blew the cement and dust off our clothes with a blower!

Karla EHS in charge LafargeHolcim

Karla blowing dust and cement off our clothes after the site visit!

We thought you might be eager to learn some interesting insights from our illuminating and memorable visit. Below are some fun facts with pictures. Hope you enjoy the read.

  • The LafargeHolcim St Constant plant was originally built in the late sixties for Montreal’s Expo 67 but continued operations thereafter. It recently celebrated 50 years of operation.
  • While most facilities make 3 types of cement, this facility at St Constant produces nine different kinds. Who knew of many cement varieties!
  • 650 tons of cement is produced every hour, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. That’s a lot of cement!
  • It all starts from this limestone quarry

    LafargeHolcim St Constant limestone quarry

    LafargeHolcim St Constant limestone quarry

  • Extensive conveyor belts are used to transport the limestone to the mill where it is crushed into a fine flour
  • It then moves on to the kiln, the heart of the cement factory, where the processing takes place. The kiln temperatures ranging from 900 C -1500 C are a quarter of the temperature of the mighty sun. No wonder it felt like summer near the kiln.

    Cement Kiln

  • The inside of the kiln looks really cool. Here’s a picture

    inside a cement kiln

    Inside the kiln

  • The cement factories use all kinds of fuel for energy, ranging from Waste Oil, Gas to tyres. Yes tyres.

    tires at the cement factory

    Used tires are used as fuel in cement plants.

  • Not only do cement plants use waste products as fuel, they produce almost no by-product. The only environmental concerns are the waste water and carbon dioxide emissions.
  • If the kiln is the heart of the facility then the brain is the control room where a team of experts control and monitor the kiln 24/7 with multiple screens, constantly analysing real-time data. Samples are taken every hour to ascertain the quality of the product. While an automatic sampling machine does help, when it is out of order or to validate it’s functioning, samples are withdrawn manually which is no mean task.

    cement control room

    Cement kiln control room

  • By the time the flour changes to cement, it loses almost 40% of its volume as CO2 and water vapour.
  • Once finished, the cement is transported via rails or trucks.
  • More than 50% of the cement produced is exported to other countries, primarily the USA

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Contact us anytime at info@nimonik.com or 1-888-608-7511 to learn how we can help your organization with EHS regulatory compliance and audits. You can also visit our website nimonik.com to learn more!