The 21st-century cement plant: greener and more connected

Published 07 December 2020

The cement plant of the future will embrace digitisation and sustainability trends to earn a competitive advantage and build resilience. By Eleftherios Charalambous, Thomas Czigler, Ramez Haddadin, Sebastian Reiter and Patrick Schulze, McKinsey & Co Inc, Germany.

Smart technology will enable the 21st-century cement plant to be greener and more efficient

There has never been a more important time to build resilience into the core of the cement value chain: the cement plant. The cement industry is being hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, with global demand for cement expected to decline by 7-8 per cent in 2020 — though these declines are unevenly distributed across regions.1 In response, cement players around the globe have reduced production or even closed plants entirely. And while the plant is just one component of the cement value chain, its role in navigating disruption and setting up cement companies for future success is crucial.

The path forward for the industry is clear – embrace digitisation and sustainability. Putting these two trends at the core of planning for the future will help cement players catch up with those in other heavy industries and achieve considerable productivity gains. In an industry where regaining lost revenues can take years, it is crucial to kick off now to both recover from the impact of COVID-19 and make cement players more resilient to future disruptions.

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