MPA challenges government for level playing field on energy pricing and biomass fuels

MPA challenges government for level playing field on energy pricing and biomass fuels
22 March 2018

The Mineral Products Association's (MPA) 2017 annual sustainable development report highlights that although domestic sales have steadily improved since 2012, UK manufacturers continue to face high regulatory policy costs with high energy prices and high electricity network and wholesale costs.

The MPA states that these issues are largely a result of energy and climate change policies and considerable change in the energy system induced by government policy.

A specific concern highlighted in the report relates to the manufacturers' ability to reduce their fossil fuel use. For decades UK cement manufacturers have replaced fossil fuels with waste-derived alternatives, investments that require millions of pounds. However, the rate of fossil fuel replacement is slowing as a result of increasing competition for such fuels from other users which, unlike the cement industry, receive government incentives.

Meanwhile, the MPA's sustainability report shows that MPA cement members have made major investments in recent years to reduce emissions to air. Levels of nitrogen oxides, particulate matter and sulphur dioxide have fallen since 1998 by 84, 86 and 82 per cent, respectively.
Reflecting on the year the MPA's Cement Director, Dr Richard Leese, praised the cement manufacturers for their efforts saying, "This latest sustainable development report clearly demonstrates the great effort the cement manufacturers have taken to minimise the impact of their operations on the environment, neighbours and their own employees. In coming years, a key focus for the sector will be meeting tighter conditions from EU legislation whilst ensuring that domestic production remains internationally competitive.
"Cement is an essential material to meet society’s needs for homes, schools, hospitals, leisure and workplaces. The industry has ambitious goals for decarbonisation, but if these ambitions are to be achieved, action must be taken to remove market distortion from the biomass fuels market to allow cement manufacturers to compete on a level playing field," added Dr Leese.

Published under Cement News