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UK: Commissioning has started on the repaired plant at the flood-damaged Cemex cement works at South Ferriby, UK and production will be resumed imminently.
The breakthrough comes three months after the plant, which employs 150 staff, was put out of action by a tidal surge from the nearby River Humber. A Cemex spokesman said, "Commissioning has started on the cement mill, which has been upgraded and improved since the flood on 5 December 2013. It has been a very long and complex process but we hope production will resume very soon."
Normally the 76-year-old plant produces around 800,000t/yr of cement so the loss of production over three months will mount to 200,000t.
The local employees have been retained on full pay since 5 December 2013 when the tidal surge saw the River Humber burst its banks and swamp the plant with millions of litres of water. The most serious damage was caused to the site's electrical network.
Written by Global Cement staff
Thursday 06 March 2014
India: Reliance Cement plans to construct a US$555m cement plant in Shimla district, which has now been approved by the Himachal Pradesh government. Reliance Cement proposes manufacturing cement and clinker at the plant, which will provide employment for 350 people and will be commissioned at Chaupal, Himachal Pradesh.
Algeria has been steadily building up cement industry interest over the past few months. In late 2013 Lafarge opened its fourth world research laboratory in Algiers. Then this week South African producer PPC confirmed its intention to enter the local market with a new plant and German construction firm ThyssenKrupp announced an order to build a cement plant for Groupe Industriel des Ciments d'Algérie.
According to United States Geological Survey (USGS) data, Algeria saw its cement production more than double from 9Mt/yr in 2002 to 20Mt/yr in 2011. At present Global Cement Directory 2014 figures places the country's cement production capacity from 21Mt/yr with 30Mt/yr a reasonable estimate for 2017. Throw in similarly rising gross domestic product per capita, US$7500 in 2013, with infrastructure investments of US$286bn planned and Algeria appears to be a promising investment for the cement market.
Lafarge, which holds minority stakes in two cement plants in the country, reported that market demand was high in 2012. Its cement sales rose by 9% year-on-year in 2013. The other major foreign player, ASEC Cement, reported in its 2012 financial report that Algeria consumed 21Mt of cement in 2012 but that it had to import 3Mt that year. ASEC was planning to build a 3.16Mt/yr plant at Djelfa to plug that market gap. Yet news reports in early 2013 reveal that the project was paused due financial issues at ASEC with the suggestion of a possible downgrade to a 1.5Mt/yr production capacity instead.
The decision by PPC to build in Algeria is the first big project by one of Africa's international sub-Saharan cement producers north of the Sahara. It steps away from PPC's expansion strategy so far of building projects out from South Africa. Hodna in Algeria is a long way from Johannesburg! It will also cause tension between PPC and whoever is supplying imported cement to Algeria, most likely indebted southern European producers. Both PPC and its Nigerian competitor Dangote are used to fighting foreign imports to their core markets. Data from the Algerian customs office show that the value of cement imports to Algeria in 2013 rose by 26% year-on-year to US$395m. That's a market worth fighting for.
Switzerland: Holcim's board of directors plan to nominate Jürg Oleas for election as a new board member at the company's annual general meeting on 29 April 2014.
Oleas, aged 56 and a Swiss national, holds an MSc in mechanical engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. He is the CEO of GEA Group AG, a Dusseldorf-based mechanical engineering company listed on Germany's MDAX stock index. Before joining the GEA Group, he spent nearly 20 years with ABB and the Alstom Group, where he held several management positions.
The Holcim board of directors also intend to propose the election of Wolfgang Reitzle as the new chairman. He will be proposed to succeed Rolf Soiron, who has been the chairman for the past 11 years and a member of the board of directors for 20 years.
Written by Global Cement staff
Wednesday 05 March 2014
UK: The Minerals Product Association (MPA) has published its first Environmental Product Declaration (EPD). The EPD declares the UK cement industry's life cycle environmental impact and covers 100% of domestically produced cement. It builds on 10 years of sustainability information published in annual sustainability performance reports.
"Our new EPD demonstrates that we are meeting UK stakeholder and supply chain expectations by providing a detailed level of environmental footprint information," said Executive Director MPA Cement, Pal Chana.
The EPD is a standardised way of quantifying the embodied environmental impacts of a product or system over its lifetime. The information declared includes data on the environmental impacts of raw materials acquisition, energy use and efficiency, content of materials and chemical substances, emissions to air, soil and water and waste generation. Institut Bauen und Umwelt, the Institute for Construction and Environment, Europe's leading EPD programme operator, has independently verified and approved the UK Average Portland Cement EPD.
The publication of the UK average cement EPD is will allow the future production of EPDs for concrete products. The concrete industry will also be able to provide designers, contractors and clients with concrete EPD information to use in their project environmental assessment.