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Published- Nov 2021
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The European Cement industry accounted for xx Metric tons/year of cement capacity with production of cement ranging from xx Metric tons/year in 2019 and is further forecasted to reach about xx Mt/year by 2025 at a CAGR of xx%.
Cement is obtained by grinding cement clinker and, in some cases, supplementing it with additions. Spain, Italy, Germany, France and Poland are the largest producers of cement clinkers in the EU.
Before the pandemic, the industry was not operating at full capacity; with the global economic slowdown, plants were expected to see further drops in utilization rates. While companies are likely to finish committed expansions that were delayed due to lockdowns, and start new projects beyond 2021 depending on the pace of economic recovery.
As countries began to reopen post-pandemic, consumption of cement and concrete is expected to gradually recover, fueled by economic growth, urbanization, and population growth, especially in emerging markets. The industry’s biggest challenges and opportunities are going to be seen in the longer-term.
To survive and flourish, companies in Europe will need to prioritize sustainability and raise their environmental standards as governments, investors, and the general public increasingly are pushing companies to reduce their carbon footprint. Cement companies that prioritize sustainability are likely to emerge as the leaders in the next cycle.
Many companies are already taking significant measures towards decarbonization.
The European Cement industry (EU 28) accounted for XX Metric tons/year of cement capacity with production of cement ranging from 176.5 Metric tons/year in 2020 and is further forecasted to reach about xx Mt/year by 2026 at a CAGR of 2.2%.
Out of 65 markets that have produced quarterly data for H1 2021, 25 had recorded year-on-year (Y-o-Y) growth in that period, including the most major companies established and manufacturing cement in the EU Nations i.e., Heidelberg Cement, Cemex and Lafarge Holcim Cement.
The European cement industry is facing substantial operational and investment costs, due to stricter environmental regulations. Similarly, labour, raw material extraction, and fuel costs are also on the rise. It is expected that European governments will continue to introduce new legislation to curb carbon emissions further.
To comply with the new regulations, the European cement industry is expected to continue to upgrade their technologies as well as use alternative fuels, such as biomass, fly ash, blast furnace slag etc.
The UK is facing rising operational costs due to reducing carbon dioxide emissions, as the country adopted stringent regulations to reduce carbon dioxide emission by 57% until 2030.
Cement is one of the industries which would need to reduce emission further to comply with the government regulations. However, this will require additional investment and would result in high production costs.
In Europe, Turkey is the largest country in terms of cement production. Residential construction is increasing on the back of government projects of affordable housing schemes. At the same time, infrastructure spending is also expanding.
Under Turkey’s Vision 2023, the government planned to build 70,000 km of roads network and 20,000 km of the railway network. There are other various government projects under private-public partnerships including bridges, airports, tunnels, railway stations, etc.
Moreover, energy projects and healthcare projects are also underway. Overall, the Turkish demand for cement is expected to remain elevated during the forthcoming years.
The Carbon Neutral Alliance, founded by CEMEX and its partners, intends to speed the development of breakthrough technologies that will transform CEMEX’s Rudersdorf plant into the world’s first carbon-neutral cement factory.
The Carbon Neutral Alliance is a collaboration of over 20 business and public organisations committed to climate change innovation. A waste heat recovery project, as well as the development of renewable energy generation, are among the technologies being introduced at Rudersdorf.
In addition, CEMEX plans to create sustainable aviation fuel on-site as a result of its collaboration with Sasol and ENERTRAG. The Carbon Neutral Alliance’s experience and knowledge will be invaluable to CEMEX as it works to decarbonize the cement manufacturing process at its facilities around the world.
The majority of EU cement producers operate on a global level, giving them access to global best practice and technology. Raw materials are extracted mainly onsite, which avoids transportation costs and environmental damage.
Mexico-based Cemex has announced the suspension of production at all of its plants in Panama and those of its Colombian subsidiary Cemex Latam Holdings from 25 March 2020. It may resume certain activities on or before 13 April 2020.
US-based company GCP Applied Technologies has received a European patent for increasing the efficiency of cement grinding by using sustainable raw materials.
Heidelberg Cement has limited the amount of net investments to around €1.2 billion per year. Net investments refer to the balance of investment and divestment in the area of property, plant and equipment.
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