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Cuban construction industry resorts to science to palliate shortages

HAVANA, Cuba, Nov 23 (ACN) Aware that the production of construction materials is one of the areas most impacted by the U.S. blockade, the sector is developing R+D+I projects (research, development and innovation) to increase the delivery of some components, replace imports and save resources.

Ernesto Juncosa Durán, Director of Development of the Construction Materials Business Group (GEICON), told the press that there are more than 90 projects in this area, of which almost 30 have been completed and 66 are underway, linked to universities and research centers in different branches of the economy.

He said that capacities have been created to manufacture approximately 40 thousand tons per year of a range of mortars such as glue cement, porcelain tile, floor-on-floor and grout, and waterproofing, anti-salt and self-leveling are under development.

It is conceived, he explained, the development of mortar producing plants, which produce 80 tons per shift with the use of aggregates in the same place where they are located, which will make it possible to reduce internal transportation costs.

Currently, with the help of the Center for Research and Development of Construction (CIDC), a study is being carried out to create Cuban gypsum, while with an entity belonging to the Business Group of the Sidero Mechanical Industry, the building of facilities to produce it is being planned.

Juncosa Durán informed that the Company of Construction Materials of Ciego de Ávila plans to elaborate chalk destined to the Education ministry and that of Santiago de Cuba orthopedic plaster.

In order to reduce the cost of cement, a project is carried out with the objective of substituting clinker (expensive raw material) of the industry, from the production of several types of this material that were not manufactured in the country and are cheaper.

GEICON's Development Director emphasized that, in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption, research is being conducted to use alternative fuels in cement kilns, such as used tires, used oils and petroleum sludge.

At Cementos Cienfuegos S.A. the use of five percent of these elements represents a saving of five thousand tons of petcoke, which is equivalent to a saving of half a million USD, he said.

Also outstanding is the research to substitute the fiber of asbeto (fibrocén) in the production of fiber cement roof tiles by the use of PET (polyethylene terephthalate) fiber, obtained by means of recycled knobs of this material mixed with the glue of the Moa nickel plant, cement and up to 30 percent cellulose fiber, said Juncosa Durán.


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