09 December 2020

Two Buzzi Unicem USA Inc. facilities receive the 2020 PCA Safety Innovation Award

The PCA Safety Innovation Awards recognize creative safety enhancing projects in the cement industry. The winners are determined by a panel of judges that evaluate projects from across the country in five categories: distribution, pyroprocessing, general facility, quarry and mine, and milling and grinding.

Two Buzzi Unicem USA Inc. facilities were recipients of the 2020 PCA Safety Innovation Award.

Barge Entry Ladder: Buzzi Unicem's Joliet cement terminal reduced fall hazards associated with unloading cement from barges by designing an adjustable wall-mounted barge entry ladder. Prior to this innovation, workers entering cement barges to diagnose or fix issues had to climb over the barge wall using a standard extension ladder, which created an unnecessary fall potential. The barge entry ladder mounts to the side of the barge wall, can be adjusted to the height and thickness of the wall, and is easy to hook up, move, and mount with a crane. The new ladder gives operators a much safer and sturdier way to get into the barge when necessary.

Finish Mill Access Platform: Buzzi Unicem USA’s Chattanooga plant reduced fall hazards from accessing the finish mill by designing, fabricating, and installing a platform above the mill. Prior to this innovation, workers had to don a safety harness and walk across the top of the mill while being tethered to a cable that extended the length of the mill, creating a fall risk, particularly when carrying parts or tools across the mill. The platform provided a strong engineering control that reduces the fall hazards associated with mill maintenance and made it easier to move parts and tools and conduct maintenance activities.

19 October 2021

A Message from our President & CEO, Massimo Toso regarding the Portland Cement Association (PCA) Roadmap to Carbon Neutrality

A Message from our President & CEO, Massimo Toso regarding the PCA Roadmap to Carbon Neutrality and Buzzi's commitment to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

For more information regarding the PCA, please visit their website.

19 November 2020

Two Buzzi Unicem USA Plants Receive ENERGY STAR Certification - Twelve Consecutive Years

The Buzzi Unicem USA manufacturing facilities in Chattanooga, TN and Festus, MO have once again earned ENERGY STAR® certification from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, recognizing their superior energy performance among similar facilities in the industry. In fact, ENERGY STAR certified plants perform in the top 25 percent of similar facilities nationwide.

This is the twelfth consecutive year that these facilities have earned the ENERGY STAR recognition. In meeting these strict qualifications, these facilities are saving energy, saving money, and helping protect the environment by using less energy than peer facilities.

For more than 20 years, EPA’s ENERGY STAR program has been America’s resource for saving energy and protecting the environment. Today, thousands of facility owners and managers use ENERGY STAR to improve the energy performance of their buildings and plants.

01 March 2020

Commitment to Supporting the Community

In 2016, the Buzzi Unicem USA Chattanooga Plant and Quarry began a sincere commitment to helping their local Tennessee communities through various outreach programs, and, to this day,  continues steadfast in that commitment. The community engagement has been focused on planning and implementing events aimed at meeting the needs of local not-for-profit organizations, who in turn assist less fortunate individuals and families.

As committed members of their local communities, the employees of the Chattanooga Plant and Quarry have come to understand both the day to day issues their communities face as well as the seasonally specific challenges. First, the employees of the Plant and Quarry work together to identify those local organizations and charities most in need of donations.  They then set about developing plans to collect the largest number of needed items.  One of the most successful strategies has been to create healthy competition between departments within the plant and quarry.

In the past, donations have included the collection of several tons of much-needed food for local food banks, sleigh-loads of children’s Christmas toys, the ever in demand school supplies as well as a mountain of coats for one of our local homeless shelters. These are just a few of the activities where items have been collected and donated.  


But that has not been all, for our own little “family” at the Chattanooga Plant and Quarry has found that our commitment to the community goes beyond helping to provide the physical items needed. Our employees, and their families, regularly participate in the Susan G. Komen ‘Be More Than Pink’ breast cancer awareness program, the Blood Assurance local blood drives, the American Heart Association Tennessee Valley Heart Walk, the annual Tennessee River Rescue Project, and have donated regularly to Miranda’s Wish and St. Jude’s Research Hospital.

Yet, the giving does not stop there. Some of our employees have carried their community contributions above and beyond by donating their time and skills to personally assist those in need.  Construction of a handicap accessible deck and ramp for one of our retirees and providing gravel and rock donations for use at some of the local park renovations are just two of the more recent projects.  

While these events were initially geared towards giving back to the community and to helping those less fortunate, our employees will tell you they have reaped benefits in ways that cannot be measured. The Chattanooga Plant and Quarry family have experienced personal growth and reward from their community service efforts, and this spirit of giving that has been embraced by our facility has led to the improvement of the lives of the children and families within our community as well as within their very own families.

01 April 2020

Cape Girardeau Hosts Missouri Governor - Planning for the Future

In the fall of 2019, the Cape Girardeau, MO plant hosted Missouri Governor Mike Parson and his staff. The governor asked to visit the plant and to hold a roundtable discussion with plant employees. Discussion points ranged from workforce development in southeast Missouri to recent Mississippi River flooding issues.   


Workforce Development

In his effort to strengthen the state’s economy today and plan for the workforce of tomorrow, workforce development in the manufacturing sector has been a primary objective for the governor. Since taking office in 2018 he has worked with state legislature to successfully expand STEM programs (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) within the Missouri Department of Education. He has been a strong supporter of recent legislation designed to expand career training for adults who are looking to further their careers. His initiatives are intended to improve the existing workforce, while also developing future workers in the state of Missouri, particularly in the manufacturing sector.

Employees participating in the discussion explained to the governor that many of his initiatives have been utilized at the plant for several years, to train and develop the BUUSA workforce, with impressive results. The plant is a leading member of the Southeast Regional Industrial Training Group, a consortium of local manufacturing companies. The consortium works with the Cape Girardeau Career & Technology Center (CTC) to offer training and certification programs designed to develop the area workforce, particularly for our skilled trade positions. In fact, each year several employees of the Cape Girardeau Plant enroll in the Electrical Maintenance or Mechanical Maintenance training programs at the CTC. The three-year curriculum for both programs require students to attend classes one evening every week and allows our employees to develop skills they can utilize to further their careers at BUUSA.  Most of the training costs for BUUSA employees and other consortium members are funded through state grants.


The Mississippi River

In recent years, the Mississippi River has significantly impacted operations at the Cape Girardeau and Festus plants, along with several of our distribution terminals along the river. During the roundtable meeting we discussed the need for infrastructure improvements along the river to limit the severity and duration of future flooding events.  Highway infrastructure and road construction needs, to improve the state’s economy and attract new businesses and industry to the state, were also discussed. The governor was interested in knowing more about issues affecting our market and the outlook for the regional cement industry. He was impressed with the fact that the state of Missouri has the capacity to produce approximately 10% of the total U.S. cement output, however the state only consumes about 2% of the volume produced in the US.

While at the plant, Governor Parson was given a tour of the control room where we explained the cement manufacturing process. The governor was very impressed and left the facility that afternoon with a greater appreciation for Buzzi Unicem USA, what we do at the Cape Girardeau plant and our contributions to the surrounding community.


02 April 2020

Lightweight Cement: a new cement type in Buzzi Unicem USA portfolio

Lightweight cements are utilized in oil well applications, mostly where the rock formation is weak or fractured and requires a lower density and more stable cementitious material, which applies lower pressure. This is required very often in shale fields where long horizontal wells are drilled and cemented. In US this type of cement has been mostly utilized in the Permian oil basin, in West Texas and Southeast New Mexico.  



In 2017 Buzzi Unicem USA partnered with Trabits Group to exclusively produce FlexCem®, a new patented lightweight variable-density well cement developed by the Trabits Group. It is manufactured using patented technology in which clinker and a proprietary zeolite are interground in specific ratios to improve setting and strength cement properties in oil wells. FlexCem® key characteristics is the utilization of ferrierite, a particular type of zeolite. Zeolites are aluminosilicates, pozzolanic in nature, having a unique cage structure and are normally utilized in ion exchange, desiccants and catalyst applications. About 40 types of zeolites are currently known. Decades-long research and testing by Halliburton and Trabits Group discovered that ferrierite could be used in manufacturing of lightweight cement giving superior cementitious properties in comparison with traditional lightweight cement. The key characteristics of FlexCem® are:

  •  Allows for density adjustments within a single blend without adversely affecting well slurry properties
  •  Maintains accurate consistent densities throughout the job without significant changes in viscosity
  •  Provides thermal stability with little or no strength retrogression
  •  It is saltwater resistant, very important for offshore utilization
  •  It has high compressive strength


Trabits Group owns the only large mineable deposit of ferrierite known in the world, located in the remote town of Lovelock, Nevada.

FlexCem® is produced intergrinding normal clinker with ferrierite and gypsum at about 7,000-7,500 Blaine. Ferrierite being softer than clinker preferentially grinds to a smaller particle size resulting in a bimodal particle size distribution.  The specific gravity of the cement, a key parameter in the production process, is maintained in the 2.75-2.85 range. The resulting density of the slurry can be as low as 10.5 ppg (pound per gallon).

With a clinker to cement ratio lower than 65%, FlexCem® is also a green cement, with low carbon emissions in the production process. Buzzi Unicem USA started to test FlexCem® production in the Pryor, OK plant first and after that in the Maryneal, TX plant. Results were positive and in 2019 three separate campaigns were completed. The product was sold first in August 2019 from the Maryneal plant.

The market of lightweight cement is forecasted to expand significantly in the next years and, with FlexCem®, Buzzi Unicem USA will be able to compete in this growing market.  There are also other potential applications of FlexCem®, for example in geothermal applications and in oil well drilling fluids, which are currently being researched and tested.

29 May 2020

PCA awards Chattanooga Plant with the Chairman’s Safety Performance Award

The Portland Cement Association (PCA), founded in 1916, is the premier policy, research, education, and market intelligence organization serving America's cement manufacturers. The Association promotes safety, sustainability, and innovation in all aspects of construction, fosters continuous improvement in cement manufacturing and distribution, and generally promotes economic growth and sound infrastructure investment.  
The annual PCA Chairman's Safety Performance Awards recognize outstanding safety performance in the manufacturing of Portland cement. A total of 11 winners were selected from nearly 100 cement facilities across the U.S. found to be the highest performers in safety in 2019. For the third time in four years, Buzzi Unicem USA's Chattanooga Plant was one of the plants honored with this award, having completed 234,669 man-hours of work in 2019 without any reportable accidents.