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2 minute read - 26th March 2024

Russell Roof Tiles makes progress on £18.5m investment

Last year, Russell Roof Tiles announced an £18.5m investment, aimed at expanding and doubling output at its 9-acre Burton-on-Trent site. The project has just reached a major milestone, installing state-of-the-art equipment to support the firm’s net zero ambitions.

A new concrete batching plant has been installed, complete with planetary mixer, to facilitate increased concrete roof tile production and to allow further capacity increases in the future. The new batching plant replaces its old and inefficient 1990’s plant and mixer. The much larger volume system will be able to handle the sand, cement, and pigment needed to feed a new mixing plant and in-turn roof tile production line.

The independent concrete roof tile manufacturer supplies products for housebuilders and social housing and commercial projects, producing thousands of concrete roof tiles and accessories tiles every week. The firm employs 150 people over three sites, two in Burton and one in Lochmaben in Scotland and the company is already the leading independent supplier of concrete derivatives for the UK pitched roofing market.

Russell Roof Tiles has made progress on an £18.5m investment to expand and double the output of its 9-acre Burton-on-Trent site / Picture: Russell Roof Tiles

This £18.5 expansion will help Russell Roof Tiles meet increasing demand for its products, delivering more manufacturing lines and a new 1,600 sq m building which will house a state-of-the-art curing chamber, only the second of its type in the country, for concrete tiles.

Construction began in 2023, with product output expected to begin later this year. The current site will continue to manufacture whilst the project takes place.

A new high silo is also being installed and will have increased efficiencies as well as sustainable benefits such as a water reclamation and refiltering system, which allows for recycling of all wash water, including using wash water from the factory. This will reduce the firm’s use of fresh water, and significantly reduce waste.

Russell Roof Tiles has been seeking ways to reduce its environmental impact, including investing in more energy-efficient equipment, optimising its production processes, and sourcing more sustainable materials as part of its net zero pledge, to ensure the company becomes carbon neutral by 2040, 10 years ahead of the government’s timeline.

Bruce Laidlaw, operations director at Russell Roof Tiles, said: “It is important that we continue to focus on efficiencies and sustainability across this major project, looking at market leading environmental options throughout the new facility. For example, this type of mixer is up to 20 per cent more energy efficient than alternatives available. Other energy efficiencies include using gravity to feed sand into the mixer below. Over time, this saves a huge amount of energy moving sand.”

The whole project is a multi-national coordination of supply partners from Sweden, Denmark, Germany and British suppliers and is funded by the business. The project will create approx. 25-30 skilled and semi-skilled jobs in engineering and maintenance.

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