US energy efficiency update

US energy efficiency update
Published: 09 January 2014


US cement industry energy consumption in 2012 decreased by 2.1 per cent against 2011 levels, the recently released annual Labor-Energy Input Survey by the PCA indicates. This energy decrease occurred despite the third consecutive year of increases in average clinker capacity utilisation rates, the PCA highlights.

The use of coal and petcoke, the primary fuels for cement production, declined from 70  to 63 per cent. Natural gas’ contribution to the fuel mix surged from around four per cent in 2011 to more than 11 per cent in 2012, likely due to favourable prices the PCA observes.  Alternative fuel’s share dipped slightly on a BTU consumption basis although it remains an integral part of the cement production process.  The association notes that three-quarters of plants now elect to use one or more alternative fuel.

The Labor-Energy Input Survey is an annual survey of cement companies and details the US and Canadian cement industry’s labour and energy usage.  The report focuses on energy consumption by fuel type and contains aggregated historical labour and energy efficiency trends summarised by type of process, size of kiln, and age of plant.