NSW Ports are paving the way for a global, sustainable future of concrete.
Global infrastructure projects require a lot of concrete for their construction. The growing demand for aggregates to produce concrete is depleting natural resources. In partnership with the University of New South Wales, NSW Ports are exploring using steel furnace slag, which is a by-product of steel making industries in Port Kembla as aggregates for concrete. This creates low carbon Geopolymer concrete barricades that can be used to protect coastlines from dangerous weather. This solution addresses the challenges Ports face of:
- Addressing climate change in existing infrastructure.
- Lowering costs of production.
- Strengthening breakwater structures.
The concrete blocks being produced in this manner will be added to the Port Kembla breakwater and routinely tested for durability and stability. The use of alternative concrete compositions will reduce energy consumption during the concrete making process and utilise more environmentally friendly materials and waste products. Geopolymer concrete compared to conventional concrete produces 50% less CO2 emissions. Geopolymer concrete,therefore, has a low carbon footprint, as well as lower energy costs and processing costs. This material has a potential future for impacting not only coastal use of concrete, but also general use.
NSW Ports’ pioneering project is a cutting-edge display of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals:
9 – Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
12 – Responsible Consumption and Production
17 – Partnerships for the Goals
Our Future Goals:
Embed the life cycle approach, community use planning and climate change design into the planning of future infrastructure projects increasing the life span and resilience.