CEMEX, the international cement maker, has announced that it may stop cement manufacturing at its Barrington plant in south Cambridgeshire.

The company will meet with trade union and employee representatives to discuss the decision. If the proposal goes ahead, a large percentage of Barrington’s production capacity will be transferred to CEMEX’s plants in Rugby and north Lincolnshire.

The Barrington site manufactures cement by feeding wet raw materials into the cement kiln. This is a traditional process that requires more energy and runs at a higher cost compared with the CEMEX’s two other plants.

The decision to close the plant will affect a total of 87 employees and forms part of the company’s strategy to implement cost savings following the recent economic downturn.

President of CEMEX UK, Gonzalo Galindo, said: ‘The current economic climate has driven us to implement efficiencies in all areas of our business, and the closure of Barrington’s kiln could help to secure the future of our cement manufacturing business in the UK. We will uphold our obligations to this site, including any future restoration commitments.’

As part of the proposal, one cement mill will remain operational during the first quarter of 2009 with the possibility of it being used as a depot to service customers in East Anglia.