Ash Grove Cement, a CRH company, unveiled its new ship unloader with its first shipment of Florida Department of Transportation approved fly ash at its upgraded Port Manatee deep water import terminal earlier this month.
The maiden shipment completed Phase 1 of the company’s transformation project at Port Manatee, which began in early 2021. The project will improve Ash Grove’s capacity to import cement, slag and fly ash to meet customers’ existing and future needs in the Florida and south Georgia markets.
The offloading of the fly ash utilized Ash Grove’s KOVAKO Ship Unloader, which has twin 800-hp blowers, 120-ft. suction arm, and can offload a dry bulk vessel at a very high rate while maintaining maximum efficiency and minimizing environmental impact by eliminating dust emissions. The machine was custom built for Ash Grove by FLSmidth to meet its specific needs. It’s “the largest mobile pneumatic ship unloader [ever] built,” according to the cement producer.
The infrastructure improvements and new technology will also increase efficiency and improve environmental performance at the strategically located Port Manatee terminal, leveraging its existing silo capacity and complementing the capabilities of Ash Grove’s cement plants in Sumterville and Branford.
“This shipment will help meet Ash Grove’s growing demand for cementitious materials in Florida. The upgrades at Port Manatee import terminal demonstrate Ash Grove’s commitment to being the leading cement provider in the region and improving the environmental effects of our products in the areas we serve,” said Ash Grove Regional President Monica Manolas.