Earth Friendly Concrete steps up UK presence with local production

Photo: Lars Igelstrom/Flickr.com

Australian construction materials group Wagners is planning to set up three chemical plants in the UK to support local production of its cement-free concrete.

Wagners International Operations Pty has registered two UK companies – Wagners Holding Company UK Ltd and EFC Green Concrete Technology UK Ltd – to ramp up its activities in the UK.

Wagners makes a cement-free concrete called Earth Friendly Concrete (EFC) made from ground granulated blast furnace slag, pulverised fly ash and a high-alkaline chemical instead of Portland cement. This geopolymer binder system gives it around 70% less embodied carbon, saving 250kg of CO2 per cubic metre poured.

Wagners already has a licence agreement in the UK with London-based Capital Concrete, a Breedon subsidiary, to which it currently supplies off-the-shelf chemicals for mixing EFC on site. By setting up its own production facilities in the UK, Wagners expects to bring costs down and get closer in price to conventional cement-based concrete.

The first chemical plant will be in Romford, with plans in the Birmingham and Manchester areas to follow as more licensees are signed up.

Wagners EFC general manager Jason Zafiriadis, in the UK this week for the COP26 summit in Glasgow, said that the production plants were small scale with low impact –  “a blending facility with a bit of steam” – but key to market penetration. “At the moment we are a premium but that premium will reduce,” he said. “Firstly, the price of cement is increasing significantly and regularly. And our costs will come down as we scale up.”

However, EFC is already price competitive in special applications, he said, such as marine works and sewers because the chemicals in EFC offered built-in anti-corrosion protection that has to be added to traditional cementitious materials.

Read more at The Construction Index.