Cemtech looks ahead on the road to cement industry decarbonisation

Cemtech looks ahead on the road to cement industry decarbonisation
22 September 2020

Paul Roger, Exane BNP Paribas (UK), opened the afternoon session of Cemtech’s virtual conference “Decarbonising the cement industry” (21-24 September 2020), providing a global outlook in terms of cement consumption and an overview of sustainability issues in the cement industry. He expects global cement volumes to be down nearly five per cent in 2021 with sales up by less than three per cent in the following year as the world returns to growth. To achieve profitable growth in this scenario, cement producers will need to focus on cost leadership, innovation, digitalisation and solutions.

Ad Ligthart, Cement Distribution Consultants (The Netherlands), assessed the impact of the EU ETS Phase IV on global cementtrade. The increased use of cementitious materials such as fly ash and granulated blastfurnace slag is limited due to their finite supply, which will lead to a higher use of pozzolans to reduce the clinker factor in cement plants. In terms of clinker and cement trade this will result in changing trade patterns. A substantial shift in clinker exports from the EU to non-EU countries is expected while in terms of cement exports to the US, a shift from EU countries to Turkey is forecast. However, in terms of Atlantic and Nordic trade, no significant changes are expected although higher FOB prices may be required

Jim O’Brien, Jim O’Brien CSR (Ireland), looked at the ambitious targets of the industry’s contribution to the issue of climatechange and provided an overview of industry achievements in the areas of alternativefuel and alternativematerials use, clinkerreduction, kiln thermal efficiencies, supplementary cementitious materials and several other indicators, following extensive research. He concluded that the industry is indeed walking the sustainability talk, making good progress on environmental, social and societal challenges. However, he urged companies to expand their safety initiatives to address the fatalities in the sector. “Working towards the 2050 ‘net-zero’ ambitions will require major technological innovation, legislative and legal certainty plus major capital investment by the industry,” concluded Jim O’Brien.

Tony Hadley of Tony Hadley African Advisor (EU) closed the afternoon’s presentations with “Carbon: changing a culture from complacency and compliance to leadership in industrial excellence”. He explained the need for a cultural shift in all aspects of the cement supply chain – from raw material extraction to sales and distribution. The need for leadership in industrial excellence, particularly in environmental and social governance (ESG) is a key driver. Investors will discipline cement companies that do not meet their ESG requirements, but will reward those where there is trust in a real desire to change, highlighted Tony Hadley.

Today, Cemtech will focus on advances in co-processing and alternative fuels as well as the role of clinker reduction, alternative raw materials and newbinders plays in decarbonising the cement industry. To attend Cemtech, register for free at: http://Cemtech.com/2020

Published under Cement News