Michoacan Bets on Sustainable Highways
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Michoacan Bets on Sustainable Highways

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Fernando Mares By Fernando Mares | Journalist and Industry Analyst - Fri, 04/22/2022 - 15:01

To improve local roads, the authorities of Michoacan, ArcelorMittal Mexico and Kansas City Southern’s Mexican arm (KCS) will join efforts to implement eco gravel, a material that  contributes toward implementing a circular economy in the state by boosting the sustainability of highways.


“We are convinced that the use of eco gravel promotes the principles of the circular economy. It also adds value to the recycling of byproducts generated via industrial activity, contributing to the environment by avoiding the use of further natural resources. ArcelorMittal is committed to the State of Michoacan, as well as to the implementation of sustainable processes such as the use of eco gravel, which will benefit the state’s communities and all of the country toward the future,” said Víctor Cairo, Representative, ArcelorMittal. 


Alfredo Anaya, Head, the local Ministry of Economic Development (SEDECO) also celebrated the agreement, as it not only improves Michoacan’s infrastructure, but does so in an ecofriendly manner. “We endorse developing key projects while implementing sustainability measures toward the state’s economic development. This step is important for sustainable projects, it responds to the different needs of companies, municipalities and their communities” Anaya added. 


ArcelorMittal produces over 1 million tonnes of eco gravel per year. Over the years, it had stored around 20 million tonnes. Under the agreement, ArcelorMittal will donate this storage of eco gravel to different infrastructure projects carried out by Michoacan’s government. The material will be moved to Maravatio, La Goleta, Patzcuaro, Uruapan, Nueva Italia, and Crucero de las Guacamayas using KCS’ trains. 


Michoacan has used eco gravel before, mainly for projects involving gap fillings, erosion control slopes and port terminals, among others. The gravel is more often applied in the US and Europe. “This practice is relatively new in Mexico, but it is important to mention that in Germany, the US, and the UK the use it for the construction of highways and canals, as well asd as ballast for railroads. This translates to a significant reduction in CO2 emissions because of the replacement of other natural products,” said Oscar del Cueto, President, Kansas City Southern. 


Eco-gravel is a byproduct obtained from metal smelting process. It can be easily separated from steel in furnaces once the steel is in a liquid state, due to the gravel’s low density.

Photo by:   Jamar Penny

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