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Cement production has the potential to be a net-zero industry: WCA

RIYADH, May 20, 2024

For the first time in history, cement production has the potential to become a net-zero industry, said a top official of World Cement Association (WCA), while outlining the significant challenges and transformative opportunities facing the sector.
 
Emir Adiguzel, Director of the WCA, emphasised the cement industry's unwavering commitment to environmental stewardship and innovation.
 
In his address at the WCA Annual Conference, Adiguzel said:  "Our aim is to bring together the capabilities of cement producers worldwide with equal rights for all, regardless of size, nationality, or group."
 
The event, held at Nanjing in China, brought together industry leaders, innovators and stakeholders to discuss the future of cement production and sustainability.
 
He highlighted the industry's proactive approach to addressing climate change, including significant investments in carbon capture technology. 
 
"These high-cost projects signal our dedication to mitigating environmental impact and securing a greener future. For the first time in history cement production has the potential to become a net-zero industry," stated Adiguzel.
 
The WCA director provided an insightful analysis of global cement demand, noting a projected stagnation from 2024-2030, with growth anticipated only in the Middle East, India, and Africa. 
 
According to On Field Investment Research, Sub-Saharan Africa is expected to see a 77% growth by 2030, India 42%, and North America 20%. 
 
However, Turkey, China, and Europe are expected to face the weakest markets, he stated.
 
"Despite weak global demand, the industry is poised to sustain its gross margin expansion in Europe, driven by higher cement prices and reduced fuel costs. Whereas in the rest of the world, especially in emerging markets where free market dynamics prevail, and prices and margins dropped, sustainable practices and alternatives remain underutilized," he noted.
 
Addressing the advancements and challenges in carbon capture technology, Adiguzel said; "While promising, these technologies require further development and substantial investment. The adoption of carbon capture technology faces challenges in terms of scalability and cost-effectiveness."
 
"Major western multinational producers are funded and investing heavily, but the financial cost is huge, such burden on independent producers may lead to closures, affecting cement supply and prices as high as 250 Euro per metric tonne in the near future," he warned.
 
Highlighting the importance of strategic initiatives and collaboration within the industry, Adiguzel said: "Building networks and sharing knowledge are key activities of the WCA. Our annual conferences, awards, and benchmarking activities are designed to support our members in improving sustainability and operational performance."
 
Calling for more collaboration within the WCA, Adiguzel said it was essential for sharing knowledge and aligning on long-term objectives. 
 
Ensuring the industry's resilience and adaptation to evolving market dynamics is crucial for the survival of independent cement producers," he added.-TradeArabia News Service 



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