Green Deal for Europe’s cement?

Published 02 September 2020

Tagged Under: Green deal Cembureau 

With the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changing forecasts in cement markets worldwide, ICR speaks with Raoul de Parisot, president of the European cement association, CEMBUREAU, about the impact of COVID-19 on the region’s cement sector as well as the industry’s drive to reduce its carbon emissions.

It is perfectly possible to keep construction sites and cement plants operational while

respecting health and safety rules, according to Raoul de Parisot, CEMBUREAU president

ICR: How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the European cement industry in 2020?
Raoul de Parisot (RdP): The European cement industry and its supply chain has been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, but what we have also seen is that the impact has varied greatly between member states. The drop in construction market activity – of 13.4 per cent YoY on average in the EU – risks to have longer-term spill-over effects on the cement and concrete markets, as many building, renovation and infrastructure projects have been suspended or stopped. In addition, the strain on public finances as a result of the crisis risks to impact public investments in the built environment. Therefore, the crisis is likely to persist in the medium-term, reaching well into 2021.  

ICR: What impact has the pandemic had on a plant level and how have producers adapted to the crisis?
RdP: As an association we cannot comment on specific plant level impacts, but it is clear that this has followed the country-specific impact with plants being affected more in southern Europe, France, the UK and less in northern Europe, central and eastern Europe. Across the EU, we have also seen local disruptions to the supply of waste and other materials to cement plants, as some borders were closed at the height of the crisis.

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