Employees of Holcim France, the French arm of the Swiss cement supplier Holcim, demonstrated in Lille last week against plans by Nord Broyage, a subsidiary of Gamma Logistics Investments, to build a clinker-crushing plant in Dunkirk. According to Holcim, Nord Broyage would be able to stave off all competition by importing clinker from Morocco, which is not bound by Kyoto emissions rules, enabling it to charge much lower rates.
The Kyoto carbon dioxide emissions quotas allocated in 2006 were not sufficient to satisfy the growth in the French cement industry (+ 6 per cent), which was fuelled by the construction boom, causing cement manufacturers to have to purchase half a million additional tonnes of CO2. If demand remains high, French cement companies such as Holcim France, Lafarge and Vicat may be forced to relocate so as to be able to remain competitive on an international level. Abstracted from Le Figaro.