The 56th IEEE-IAS/PCA Cement Industry Technical Conference has officially welcomed over 980 registered delegates to Washington DC for five days of discussions under the theme of “Sustainable strength through innovation.”
The meeting began on Sunday, 13 April 2014 with a drinks reception in the extensive exhibition area, featuring many of the leading cement suppliers to the North American cement industry.
Monday then saw the start of the half-a-dozen technical tutorials and – new for 2014 – training sessions for industry ‘junior professionals’.
Of particular note was an informative tutorial by John Kline of Kline Consulting on CO2 reduction for cement plants of the future, who outlined effective ways of reducing emissions from the cement production process to comply with environmental regulations.
Delving further into emissions management was an enlightening tutorial by Louis Ricci, Barry Hilchey, Syed Suhail Akhtar and Tahir Abbas on the impact of converting from coal to natural gas firing, outlining the benefits of using a short gas flame in kiln burners.
Ted Richardson officially launched the two-day technical conference programme on Tuesday morning by thanking over 80 volunteers who helped make this event possible. Derek Nicholls of Essroc Cement, and chair of the local organising committee, then welcomed delegates to the US capital.
Ed Sullivan later took to the stage with a dynamic presentation on the current and future outlook for the North American cement industry. Mr Sullivan had the audience hanging on his every word as he indicated that sustained growth in cement consumption of at least eight per cent is expected this year. The housing sector is predicted to continue driving demand with a PCA forecast of over 1m new houses to be built in 2014. The 2008 recession has created tremendous pent-up demand which will boost sales in the upcoming years, while the increasing US population indicates further growth opportunities in the near future.
The conference and exhibition continue…