Czech market declines expected to ease in 2014

Czech market declines expected to ease in 2014
Published: 03 March 2014


Cement consumption in the Czech Republic is expected to see another fall in 2014, but the pace of decline is set to ease, according to the head of Lafarge Czech Republic.

Cement demand in the Czech Republic reached a high of 5.18Mt in 2008, but the onset of the global financial crisis has resulted in five consecutive years of decline and consumption by end-2012 was down to 3.389Mt.

Speaking to CTK press, Janusz Miluch, CEO of the Lafarge unit, said that total domestic cement sales dropped by another six per cent last year. As a result, the company registered a fall in sales and operating results compared to the previous year. To help offset declines at home, the company exports around 40-42 per cent of its output.

Lafarge Cement is now making investments to position itself for market recoveries, Miluch said. Its 1.2Mta Cizkovice cement works, which is equipped with a 2250tpd kiln with five-stage preheater and calciner, began burning alternative fuels in the late 1980s, and has now reached an impressive substitution rate of 80 per cent.A variety of solid waste-derived alternative fuels, including SSW, sludges, shredded tyres and animal meal are consumed, in addition to liquid solvents and lipix. Supporting fuels are coal dust (lignite) and heavy oil (heating up) at 20 per cent.

To reach this level of substitution, the kiln system was recently modified, including extending the calciner length by 30m to increase the combustion gas residence times, a chloride bypass system and the adoption of a Unitherm Mono Airduct System burner.