The annual FICEM-APCAC Conference is currently underway in the city of Bogota, Colombia.
The first day of the FICEM-APCAC conference began with typical Latin flair in the form of a keynote speech from Juan Martín Caicedo Ferrer, the Colombian minister for infrastructure (full title in Spanish is Presidente de la Cámara Colombiana de Infraestructura). As he spoke, Mr Caicedo highlighted the role of the construction sector in boosting the overall GDP of the region, particularly in the early years of this decade. He also reflected on the fact that although Colombia’s cement consumption has risen, it has also declined as a proportion of world consumption.
Ms Maria José García, the Director-General of FICEM-APCAC, then gave an overview of her organisation, putting emphasis on its potential for boosting the sustainability and profile of the Latin American cement industry. After a valuable networking session, the delegates returned, suitably refreshed to listen to a presentation by Howard Klee, Director of the Cement Sustainability Initiative (CSI) on the progress being made by the cement industry in the fight against climate change.
Other speakers during the first day included Anthony Fiorato of the Cement and Concrete Reference Laboratory (CCRL). He made the point that while testing is often seen as an area of low importance, in actual fact, a large number of critical decisions in day to day plant operation are made based on the information it provides. Meanwhile, technical presentations were delivered by Gebr Pfeiffer and A TEC.
The conference continues with two further days of presentations culminating in a tour of Cementos Paz del Rio plant, which is owned by market-leader, Cementos Argos.