58th IEEE-IAS/PCA meeting sets US scene

58th IEEE-IAS/PCA meeting sets US scene
Published: 18 May 2016

Tagged Under: conference event Texas IEEE-IAS/PCA USA 

The 58th IEEE-IAS/PCA Cement Industry Technical Conference started its first full day of tutorial presentations on Tuesday at the Gaylord Texas Resort Centre, Grapevine, USA. The event attracted more than 950 delegates from 29 countries with a supporting international exhibition of 176 booths.

Scott Nielson, conference committee chair, underlined the importance of the cement industry in Texas that produces 15Mta of cement making up 13 per cent of all US cement production – more cement than is made in Australia, he noted.

The keynote presentation was then given by Jeff Austin III, commissioner of the Texas Transportation Commission who highlighted both national treasures such as the Fixing Americas's Surface Transport (FAST) Act that is funded for three years for critical highway construction, a population that is expected to increase by up to 40 per cent over the next 40 years, and Texan initiatives like Proposition 7, which is an amendment to authorise stable funding for transportation in Texas.

Then delegates heard from PCA's executive vice-president and chief economist, Ed Sullivan who explained the reasons why the PCA's forecast for economic growth has been revised to take account of 'structural forces' that do not point to another recession, but do suggest that they are having a bigger impact on growth, which is stopping pent-up demand in the construction industry from being released. The US can still expect to see cement demand growth rates of 3.5-4.5 per cent in the short term and the long term forecast to 2040 is that the USA will require more cement capacity to at least 108Mta as the lowest scenario and 155Mta at best.

The conference continues with presentations today (Wednesday) on environmental, energy and sustainability, automation, power generation, distribution and related products. This will be followed by a plant tour to Ash Grove Cement's Midlothian plant in Texas on Thursday.