The Mineral Products Association (MPA) of the UK yesterday launched a landmark document for the UK cement industry. The new publication launched on Monday sets out to explain the importance of cement and concrete to the UK economy and society and is entitled ‘Cementing the Future – Sustaining an Essential British Industry’. It further draws attention to the vulnerability of the industry to overseas competition unless the government acts to create a level playing field in terms of the cost of regulation and unilateral ‘green taxes’ that overseas competitors do not face.
“Our shops, factories, offices, homes, schools, hospitals and much more all depend on this critical material yet the industry is struggling to compete in the face of ever increasing costs; some of which are centrally imposed by government”, said Dr Pal Chana, Executive Director of MPA Cement. “Our strategic significance to the economy cannot be overstated.”
“The government’s own economic growth plans are predicated on a substantial increase in the construction of infrastructure and housing, and cement and concrete are going to be needed for both. We cannot allow the supply of this essential material to be left to the vagaries of the international trading markets; especially not when we have a deep rooted industry here in the UK with factories in mainly rural locations providing much needed jobs”, added Dr Chana.
According to the MPA, ‘Cementing the Future’ calls on the government to:
• recognise the industry’s strategic significance and potential to generate economic growth
• acknowledge the industry’s role in delivering a low-carbon future for the UK
• deliver an economic climate of investment security and reduce regulatory uncertainty in the industry;
• reduce the cumulative cost burden on the industry
• lift unilateral green taxes.
In return, the industry will deliver:
• a secure supply of quality assured cement made in the UK
• commitment to the UK government’s infrastructure and built environment programme
• continued investment in the future of a healthy domestic cement industry
• sustained employment at our network of UK cement plants and the supporting supply chain
• a planned reduction of 81 per cent in GHG emissions as detailed in its Carbon Roadmap to 2050.
“The UK cement industry has provided an essential material for the built environment for over 100 years. Working with government, we can continue to make a vital contribution to development and cement the future of an essential British industry,” said Dr Chana.