Polish Cement Association calls on government to send cement and construction workers back to work

Polish Cement Association calls on government to send cement and construction workers back to work
14 April 2020

The Polish Cement Asociation has written an open letter to the government explaining how important it is to get the cement and construction sectors back to work.

“The contribution of Polish construction to the national economy is estimated at 10 per cent of GDP, including the cement industry generating directly about one per cent of our GDP... "For the sake of the state of the entire economy, including the situation of all participants in the construction process, we call for consistent support in maintaining investment continuity and public procurement, which is the basis for maintaining jobs and a source of income for almost 2 million employees. In the event of the COVID-19 pandemic, which significantly affects the national economy, it is crucial to preserve jobs and continuity of production in the construction industry and the cement sector, whose collapse will also directly affect many other sectors," said the document.

"The cement industry in Poland is currently 13 modern plants – located in small towns, most of them in relatively less economically developed areas of Poland – which are the basic and often the only place of work for many families from surrounding towns, communes and poviats. The domestic cement industry directly employs over 4000 employees, and taking into account subcontractors in the entire supply chain, indirectly creates over 25,000 jobs. The cement sector in Poland discharges approximately PLN1.5bn (US$359.8m) annually in the form of taxes and tributes to the central budget and local government budgets. It is often the revenues from taxes on cement companies that are the basis of local government administration - so much needed in the current situation to fight the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. The cement sector is also socially responsible, supporting the development of regions and successively conducting activities in the field of environmental protection.

“Cement plants are a very important element of the national waste management system. Cement plants use approximately 1.6Mt of municipal waste processed annually. This represents over 10 per cent of all municipal waste generated in the country.

“It is necessary to maintain this link in the waste management chain and the circular economy to avoid uncontrolled shipment and storage of waste – including some unusually difficult waste to be managed in a different way. In many regions where the share of cement plants in waste consumption is locally much greater than 10 per cent stoppage of clinker kilns in In fact, cement plants would mean, in a short time, huge problems with household waste collection, since waste collection companies would immediately fill their local landfills.

“The Polish cement industry is also one of the European leaders in the use of mineral waste for the production of cement from other industries," said the association. According to the Cement Producers Association, the country's cement sector uses almost 5Mta, including slag and fly ash from power plants  and combined heat and power plants, which have been used in the Polish cement industry for years. If cement production stops, this waste will remain in landfills.

"We call for action to maintain their continuity and employment. Ensuring the continuation of commenced public investments, real support programs for housing, announcing new investment projects, increasing aid funds for small and medium enterprises and maintaining continuity in issuing administrative decisions."

Published under Cement News