Written by engineeringnews.co.za
A world leader in building materials, the international Lafarge Group is also the leading cement producer in Africa with operations in eleven sub-Saharan countries, in addition to a large presence in North Africa.
In keeping with this position, the Group’s subsidiary, Lafarge South Africa is a Gold Sponsor of the Advances in Cement and Concrete Technology in Africa (ACCTA) conference scheduled for 28-30 January 2013 at Emperor’s Palace, Johannesburg.
The conference focuses on concrete as the building material with the performance and sustainable environmentally-friendly features to meet Africa’s burgeoning demand for infrastructure and housing.
As well as the company’s sponsorship of this important event, Lafarge South Africa is contributing two technical papers: one from its highly regarded technical resource, Quality Department Southern Africa (QDSA), while the other is a joint paper from QDSA and Lafarge subsidiary, Ash Resources.
Dr Reinhold Amtsbüchler, Professional Engineer and Manager of QDSA, is presenting a paper entitled ‘Natural Pozzolans and their use by the cement industry in Africa’. Dr Amtsbüchler has headed Lafarge’s development of advanced formulation cements incorporating siliceous fly ash, a pozzolanic by-product of pulverised coal-fired power stations. He has also assisted Lafarge operations in Tanzania and Malawi with the evaluation and utilisation of natural pozzolans.
Ash Resources, South Africa’s leading producer and supplier of fly ash products, pioneered the development of local fly ash to be among the world’s finest quality fly ash products. Fly ash is today a strategically important component of the region’s cements and concretes.
The company’s Technical Manager, Lehlohonolo Madumo, will be presenting a paper ‘30 years high quality fly ash in South Africa’. Backed by the unparalleled technical strength of the Group, Lafarge South Africa offers local architects, builders, developers and specifiers, innovative new technology readymixed concretes.
The advances in technology provide enhanced pumpability and placement, greatly reduced noise and vibration, combined with rapid strength gain. It translates to significant improvements in the workplace environment with higher safety levels, fewer worksite materials and shorter construction times.
Innovations that are transforming building practices and productivity are the specialised roadbinder cement, RoadCem; the Artevia™ range of decorative concretes; the self-compacting concretes in the Agilia™ range; the Extensia™ solution for joint-free large area concrete flooring, and Hydromedia™, the technology breakthrough in fast-draining permeable concrete.
Lafarge’s confidence in Africa reflects its global strategy of investing in emerging countries. It brings the continent the benefits of the Group’s world-leading expertise and introduces international best practices in cement and concrete production.
“The Group’s strategy is not simply about supplying cement and concrete,” says Lafarge South Africa Country CEO Thierry Legrand. “We aim at long-term commitments, which produce sustainable benefits for the local communities where we operate. Much-needed employment opportunities are an immediate benefit. Another real reward comes from providing innovative, effective building solutions and developing skills for the future.”