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Right after world war II The Netherlands faced the challenge of rebuilding large parts of the country. As a result the demand for concrete and thus cement increased spectacularly. However there were not many solutions for fast and clean handling of cement at that time. Unloading cement was a dirty, dusty and difficult operation that needed improvement.

Post WW II the trade of cement in bulk became very common in The Netherlands. During that period the Van Aalst company started to import cement and felt it as their responsibility to unload ships dust free and environmentally friendly. The big challenge was born and in 1954 the first prototype was built. Van Aalst managed to find a way to unload cement from ships without spillage and dust emissions. The first pneumatic unloader in the world with the -for that time- stunning capacity of 20 T/h was a fact. After the first machine was built, new and improved versions followed rapidly. Engineering developments led to a diversifaciton of pneumatic ship unloader types with unloading equipment being placed on ships, on shore and on mobile platforms. The unloading capacity was soon raised towards 100 T/h.

The pneumatic principle of unloading cement is still the base of the equipment build today. Nowadays Van Aalst Bulk Handling can manufacture pneumatic conveying equipment with a capacity up to 800T/h. Dust free conveying, in a hassle free and enviromentally friendly way are still the most valuable characteristics of the custom built equipment delivered to customers all over the world today. Being the longest lasting specialist in the world of pneumatic unloading of dusty abrasive powders, Van Aalst is proud of its decades long experience and on the innovativons still made every day.

Stars of Cement Award

During the Intercem Conference in Qatar (27/28 January 2009) Mr Gert van Aalst received the “Stars of Cement Award” for his long lasting contribution for the cement industry.

Mr Gert van Aalst has developed the road mobile ship unloader in the late 70ies (which now is the industry standard) and is well known because of his flexible and innovative approach. Bulk handling of cement would have looked very different without Mr Gert van Aalst.