The first day of presentations at Cemtech Europe, the leading cement industry conference and exhibition, began today at the Marriott Hotel, Warsaw, Poland in front of an audience of some 230 international cement professionals.
Held in association with Polish Cement Association (SPC), proceedings began with a keynote presentation by association president, Leonard Palka, who noted: “The conference provides a great forum to exchange experience and opinions” and he hoped that it “would to contribute to the development of new concepts and ideas in our industry in the future.”
The strong development of the Polish cement industry was underlined by Dr Jan Deja, SPC’s chief executive, during a review of the domestic cement sector. With several new production lines coming on-stream and gains in cement consumption forecast, the outlook is even more promising for the sector. Alternative fuels are also on the rise as manufacturers look to reduce their specific fuel consumption further. Overall, heat consumption in the Polish cement industry has dropped from 6000kJ/kg of clinker to 3700kJ/kg and many plants now operate with electricity consumption of less than 91kW/t of clinker. The industry’s next challenge will be to lower its CO2/t of clinker from 868kg to 766kg.
Providing an overview of global cement markets, Jean-Christophe Lefèvre-Moulenq of CM-CIC Securities, France, highlighted that the industry had changed profoundly over the last few years ‘’without us realising it.” Explaining how economies were experiencing “a different kind of downturn” – a great contraction, he does not expect to see a recovery until 2013 due to the overhang of debts in the banks and the sovereign debt crisis in countries like Greece and Spain, as well as austerity measures in the EU. Regarding the cement industry, Jean-Christophe highlighted the emergence of new entrants like Anhui Conch, Votorantim and the Eurocement Group who are looking to expand their global presence.
Mikhail Skorokhod, president of Eurocement Group, Russia’s largest cement producer, then presented a comprehensive report on the company, which is currently undergoing an impressive US$2bn expansion drive to add 8.1Mta of cement capacity. Following completion of these investments, Eurocement’s total domestic volumes will reach 38Mta by 2015. Currently, the group has plants in Ukraine and Uzbekistan as well as Russia and distributes cement in Azerbaijan and Belarus. Speaking about the Russian cement industry, Mr Skorokhod pointed out that Russia has more than 50 plants and that it had witnessed 20 years of sustainable expansion of cement consumption, averaging a growth rate of 5.6%. For 2011, cement consumption is forecast to grow 11% YoY.
The event continues with a range of presentations on European markets from leading industry experts including representatives from Morgan Stanley, Barclays Capital and Lafarge Research Centre.
Technical presentations, focusing on plant performance, cost reductions, optimisation and sustainability issues, will be supported by a technical workshop and an international exhibition area featuring leading suppliers to the global cement industry.
Cemtech is the leading global cement conference and exhibition organiser. The Cemtech Europe Conference and Exhibition in Warsaw is the 20th European Cemtech event. Attracting cement specialists from 40 countries, this international three-day conference and exhibition offers attendees the opportunity to study regional cement and construction markets, along with advances in cement production technology and latest methods for improving environmental performance. The next Cemtech event will be held in Florida, USA, 11-14 December 2011 – www.cemtech.com/Americas