The transformation process involves an aggressive effort to get closer to our customers throughout our global operations. For example, in Spain, before the transformation, different teams were managing our businesses across the value chain, and our commercial teams in each business were organized around products. Today, one management team is responsible for all our businesses in the same geography, and our commercial teams are organized around customer segments. As a result, we can respond faster to our clients’ and markets’ evolving needs.
A key element of our commercial strategy is to expand demand for our high-end specialty products. These products offer several advantages: they meet very specific customer needs; they strengthen brand loyalty; and they enjoy premium pricing. For example, in Mexico, we recently introduced our EXTRA brand bagged cement. This specialty cement mixes more readily with water and reduces cracks by 80%, characteristics that are highly valued by the country’s mass market. Similarly, Impercem, our waterproof cement, eliminates the need for coating roofs and commands a premium over conventional cement products. In fact, our new specialty products comprise an increasing percentage of our total sales volumes. Today, specialty ready-mix concrete products account for more than one fourth of our concrete sales in France and Spain, 16% in the UK, as well as 14% in Poland. We expect to continue developing and deploying new specialty products in the coming years—enhancing customer satisfaction, product differentiation, and profitability.
Led by our Global Center for Technology and Innovation (GCTI) in Switzerland, our researchers design advanced building materials that fulfill our customers’ increasingly demanding performance requirements. CEMEX recently launched two new global ready-mix concrete brands—Promptis and Hidratium—designed using proprietary admixtures developed by CEMEX researchers. Promptis is a rapid-hardening concrete that quickly reaches compressive strength but maintains its workability for at least 90 minutes. Hidratium is CEMEX's self-curing concrete solution; no additional curing is required, early-age cracking is eliminated, overall shrinkage is reduced by 50%, and water evaporation is reduced by 80%.
Thanks to our talented team of professionals and our wide array of innovative products, we excel in offering tailor-made solutions that set us apart from our competitors and generate greater value for our customers. Responding to the unique needs of the US$1 billion Port of Miami project, we are supplying 90,000 cubic yards of concrete for 12,000 segments of tunnel lining. We are also providing 7,000 cubic yards of specialty concrete for the underwater floor inside the shaft for the four-story-high tunnel-boring machine. This concrete must be poured underwater so the machine can be assembled in place and dig the tunnel, while the tunnel segments are installed. Additionally, in northern Mexico, we supplied 40,000 cubic meters of specialty ready-mix concrete for the Baluarte Bicentennial Bridge. At a height of 390 meters and a span of 520 meters, Baluarte is one of the tallest and most complex bridge mega-structures in the world. Our global knowledge pool of concrete logistics enabled us to overcome the tremendous challenge of executing this formidable project. Moreover, in Southern France, we addressed the special architectural needs of French soccer star Zinedine Zidane's new sports center, designed in dominant shades of black. In harmony with the architect’s concept, CEMEX delivered specialty black Advanci Architectonique ready-mix concrete for the center, as well as grey ready-mix concrete with specialty black quartz stone aggregates for paving. Furthermore, in Germany, we recently completed the installation of 25 six-meter-high, double-wall, pre-cast, bright white concrete elements composing the six faces of the striking garden pavilion of the Cologne Sculpture Park. At the construction site, the units were pivoted and mounted vertically, using a system developed by CEMEX to move such large pre-cast concrete elements without risk of damage. The elements were then set in concrete at the site, creating a massive, imposing structure. Ultimately, these are but a few illustrations of our customized building solutions.